Our Community Inclusion Strategy has started and Matt Minnis, head coach for this programme, has reported that 23 children from Shinfield Infant School are now attending the football skills course (U8 age group), with Miss Cadman keeping a close eye on them all ! By the time this article is published we will have confirmed the dates for the U7 children to start, so to all parents reading this edition – you should have received notification of the start date from the school by now. We’re anticipating around 25 children joining in the U7 age group as well….this should be a lot of fun for the coaching staff!
As previously advised, we intend running a minimum 3x U8 squads and 3x U7 squads, girls and boys and these teams will train on a Tuesday evening at Millworth Lane. Should any parent reading this want their children to start training with the Club sooner, please note that we’re already holding training sessions for both U8 and U7 on Tuesdays at 6.00pm, so feel free to come along.
We now have several more graduates from the FA referee programme, Liam Hall, Max Swift, Campbell Jordan and Taylor Sunderland, plus former club member Jordan Greenough (well done boys!). At the time of writing this article, we have another 2 children on the course plus 3 more in waiting, all of whom I expect to graduate with flying colours. Again, I’d like to thank Shinfield Parish Council for their assistance on this. Interestingly, our first graduate, Reese Graham, is already refereeing matches every weekend and is gaining a superb reputation. I feel sure that all these children will be great ambassadors for the club and for the Shinfield community.
Two of our coaches, Will Manning and Raymond Barclay attended the recent open day at Reading FC’s Madjeski Stadium after which they were invited to meet with manager Nigel Adkins for a Question and Answer session. It was fantastic to see a manager show such devotion to the community of fans and grassroots football – so much so that their 15 minutes of fame turned into over an hour. Nigel answered questions, talked passionately about grassroots and professional football as well as assisting analyst Lucy Rushton with a demonstration of the Prozone physical, technical and tactical system the Royals use to analyse the players and play after each match.
I’m also pleased to advise that five boys from our U15 squads are currently being assessed by another Championship Club….along with a Premiership Club keeping a very close eye on one of our other players. It’s gratifying that many of these older players started playing for Shinfield Rangers a long time ago, for example Billy Rixon, now in his tenth season for the club.
Shinfield Rangers has now evolved into one of the leading football clubs in the South of England and to this end we have now submitted our application to the FA for Community Charter Standard status – the highest accolade that the FA can grant a football club in the community.
It was a real privilege for Shinfield Rangers FC to host the Berkshire County Girls Football League goalkeeper day for the second time in October. We all hope that this close relationship can continue long into the future.
The club has a very busy fixture list for December and January and the management committee would like to wish all the children and coaches the very best of luck in your forthcoming matches. If you live in the area and want to see some exciting high-quality football, please come and support our teams playing at our home ground (Millworth Lane) on a Saturday and Sunday morning.
Finally, as this was also written for the special Christmas edition of the Loddon Reach magazine, I looked at what I wrote last year. I don’t think that I can do anything else but reiterate what I said then: this has been a tough year for so many people that I know from all walks of life. I am convinced that 2014 will be better – so it’s a simple message from me – let’s all look forward, be positive and when all else fails, there’s always the pub. Have a peaceful and happy Christmas.
James A. Roth
Chairman – Shinfield Rangers FC