Fakenham Town Football Club; The Ghosts Story – A New Beginning

Fakenham Town Football Club; The Ghosts Story –  A New Beginning

When myself, Andrew and Nigel were voted on,
the club wasn’t really being steered in the direction it needed to go. The youth were playing their games at the
High School, Senior sides were playing here with not much support and we were asked to
come in and change that around, and from my point of view the community and the parents
and the children with a smile on their faces – that’s what it’s all about. We start with a Tiny Kickers session, which
is Under 6’s. They then progress into a Development League
at Under 7’s. Up to Under 8’s you play 5-a-side, 9’s & 10’s
you play 7-a-side, 11’s & 12’s you play 9-a-side and then you go up to 11-a-side. Girls can play until the age of 14, and then
they can play in Ladies teams from the age of 16 onwards. This is the first time since I’ve been here
that we’ve actually had an Under 16’s squad this year, and it would be great to see them
go into Under 18’s. I know not all of them will get there, but
most of them will and then go on to the Reserves, and maybe even the first team. The youth teams are very important to the
set-up. We want to push them forward and bring them
into the first team and hopefully that’ll happen. We’re in the Prem and we’re looking strong
for next season. We’re going in the right direction. Having Andrew come in with Nigel really made
everybody think we are moving forward as a youth but now as a club we are moving forward
aswell and we didn’t have that before. I met Nigel through the youth coaching. I was the manager of the Under 16’s at the
time. His lad came to play in our Under 16’s team
and Nigel became our coach. When I was asked by the club to come back
as chairman, Nigel actually was the first person I spoke to. Andrew contacted me to see if I’d be interested
in coming on board and just trying to help the running / restructuring of the club. Having been there myself as a youngster, you
appreciate people’s time they give up, and what they put back in to giving the youth
of the local area and community something to really enjoy and look forward to on a weekly
basis. Nigel actually gave me a very objective opinion
on the potential of the place, and we both agreed that it was worth giving it a go. It’s not every day you get to work with someone
that’s managed in the Premier League, that’s managed an international club, that’s played
professionally. To have an insight like that coming in to
a club of this size, doesn’t happen every day. We’re managing from the bottom up, so we’re
managing the football club from 6-year-old’s, up to the first team trying to make it a really
safe, happy, fun place to be. I think like many amateur football clubs,
finance is always an issue. Getting the kit washed to buying stock for
the bar, cutting the grass, emptying the bins, it’s all on volunteers and it’s all on goodwill. No-one gets paid to do it. We’re always open to people volunteering and
helping us. There’s always something to do, there’s always something to do. I do enjoy the people who are here. Working with them, and having a laugh with
them makes a big difference. We’ve had alot of good things happening over
the summer, with the pitch redevelopment, changing rooms being painted out, corridors
being painted out. The clubhouse extension and I think the more
that happens, the more we’re really going to get to where we want to be. Well there’s been a huge shift in this football
club in the last 8 months since the new committee has come in. There’s been alot of hard work gone in by
everybody, which is fantastic. At the moment it’s an opportunity to build
on what we already have, and that’s quite an exciting thought to see where we could
be in 5 years time. Everyone is pulling together I think, singing
from the same hymn sheet now. It’s great to see so many people round the
club and see so many people come through the gates. It’s very positive now. People can see the changes, they can see the
benefits, they can feel the atmosphere at the club is so much better now. Everybody’s enjoying themselves, everybody’s
got a smile on their face and it’s a nice place to be again.

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