Tuesday, February 22, 2005

All about Eastwood Football Club

Malcomn Storer has especially written this profile of Eastwood Football Club for Bulls News. For further information on the club go to the Official Eastwood Website at

Eastwood Town FC celebrated it's 50th anniversary last season, and the celebrations were made sweeter with cup final victories in the NCEL Presidents Cup and the Notts F.A. Senior Cup. The latter was against local rivals Hucknall Town, who had just won the Unibond Premier Division, but were not able to enter the Conference because their ground was not up to the required standard. Add this to promotion by finishing second in the Northern Counties East League, season 2003-04 turned out to be a very successful and fruitful one.

Current Chairman Keith Smith is a local businessman who stepped into the void left when the previous Chairman resigned and withdrew his financial backing. Keith effectively bank-rolled the club from his personal funds and with his business acumen and contacts helped the club achieve financial stability. Club Secretary and CEO is Paddy Farrell. He and his wife Pat have together given over 80 years service to the club in one guise or another. Manager Bryan Chambers is in his 12th year at the Club and has recently signed a new contract to keep him at the club for at least a further two seasons. Assistant Boss and Academy Director Paul Cox is also registered to play for the 1st team. Cox is at currently in raptures about his U19 Academy squad six of whom have already had a taste of first team action. Two of the lads, Ben Hutchinson and Lindon Meikle have just returned from a week of assessment at Newcastle United, while 17 year-old Junior Daniel capped his first full outing against Shepshed Dynamo by scoring a goal from about 70 yards! Junior hit the ball from just inside the centre-circle in his own half and it sailed past the Dynamo keeper -- not bad for a left-back!

The current squad are a mixture of seasoned campaigners and young blood. Skipper and centre-half Paul Gould has been at the Club for nine years and keeper Danny Bryant is in his eighth season. These are the longest serving players currently at the Club. Matt Millns is 22 years old, and has made the position in the centre of a back three his own since arriving from Clipstone. Lee Soar has played at a higher level and is currently attracting the attention of a League 2 team. Paul Mitchell and Mark Fisher are the engine room of the team, both tough tackling, no-nonsense midfield players. Chris Shaw and Kelvin Mushambi joined the Badgers from Hucknall Town. Gary Sucharewycz is in his second spell at the Club, re-joining from Leek Town at the start of the season. James Whitehead at right back is one of the best crossers of the ball at this level. Striker Peter Knox netted 35 goals last season, and despite a slow start has already hit 19 this term.

Coronation Park is in the process of being upgraded to Unibond Premier level, and it is hoped that by 2005-06 season the work will be completed. New turnstiles have to be installed and the Club is in the middle of trying to fund new floodlights, the present ones are 25 year-old this year and look it!

What does the future hold for Eastwood Town? The Chairman has made it clear he that he wants and expects more success. Most fans think that a play-off place is still attainable. If the Club fails to win promotion this season, failure to do so next season will be seen as a big step backwards. The Chairman has said publicly that he wants Eastwood playing Conference football at Coronation Park, and knowing the Chairman as I do, it will happen, eventually!

As for the Trophy, I think the home draw against Hereford, although a money-spinner, will cause the club one or two headaches logistically. All that Eastwood realistically can hope for is that a big crowd eats loads of food and drinks loads of beer so the day is a financial success. No-one expects Eastwood to beat the Bulls, but the players will give their all, and you never know, stranger things have happened !! Eastwood Manager Bryan Chambers is a die-hard Newcastle United fan, so he is well aware of what a small club can do to a large one!!

Eastwood's Trophy run began on 6th November with a home tie against Conference North outfit Worksop Town. A single goal from skipper Paul Gould saw the Badgers into the hat for Round 2. An away trip to UniBond Premier Division Bridlington Town was the reward and Eastwood earned a creditable goal-less draw at the seaside. The replay was a one-sided affair, Mushambi (2), Knox and Millns netting for Eastwood as they ran out 4-0 winners. Into Round 3, and another Unibond Premier scalp was claimed, Knox, Mushambi and Sucharewycz on target in the 3-2 victory over Spennymoor United. Conference South opposition next up for Eastwood, and it was a single Knox header that settled the game against Hayes FC in Eastwood's favour. Four bigger teams, but four victories. Hereford should be comfortable winners, but on the day you never know?????..