Football Focus Issue 75 - Page 51

St Marys 1947 “We’ve just agreed a three year deal to support St Marys 1947 and love to be able to support local grassroots football. My son plays for them in defence and the team is doing very well this season; they’ve improved a lot since last year. Everyone at The Parkmore Hotel wishes them the very best for the future.” Jeremy Leeds, The Parkmore Hotel “Over eight seasons we transitioned the club by introducing young teenage players and losing some of the older senior players now in their 40s. The club tasted success in 2010 and 2011 with domestic league cup success and managed to maintain a mid-table finish each season in the FA Level 7 Teesside league which the club entered in 2008. “In 2014, Chris stepped down from his role and Craig took over 1st team player manger duties and I became Assistant player Manager as well as Secretary. For two seasons we again established the club within the League and continued to develop the younger players who had joined us back in 2006 and onwards. Craig left the club following a nineteen year association as player and manager in 2016 and I was appointed 1st team player manager. “As I have been with the club for now thirteen years I can’t imagine a Saturday not with the team when the football season is active. One of my skills and passions has been the development side of the club which spans over a decade now which has seen me introduce new pitch facilities, sponsorship, marketing & promotion, social media engagement, club chartered status and much more. “It is not always easy managing a club with the financial constraints in grassroots football as well as attracting the calibre of players who are usually attracted to 5/6 a-side football or the Premier league games on a Saturday rather than being part of 11 a-side grassroots football. However, my ambition of taking the club to a higher level in the football league pyramid system has kept the drive and focus for me season after season and seeing the players, ex- players and supporters of the club fully supportive and behind me gives me a great sense of pride and affiliation to our club. “The club unfortunately does not have a youth development infrastructure as it is just an FA Chartered Adult club. However, introducing youth has always been the blue print of the club which has helped us to exist for seventy years. “Younger players will always be given the opportunity to play at the club and it is great to see at least six or seven 1st team players in today’s team such as Lewis Kaid, Thomas Straker, Chris Norlund and Ryan MacKey who joined the club around ten years ago when only 17 or 18 and have now matured as senior players. “One of the team’s star players currently is 16 year old Kurtis Osborne who joined last season following being released by Hartlepool United. At a young age he has shown great ability and maturity and looks to have a bright future in football at a much higher level. “With a good infrastructure and good financial standing the club continues to develop in Level 7 football. With further off field investment in facilities and direction the club ambition would be to one day reach Level 6 Northern League status. However, until the big investors and facilities materialise the club will look to achieve success in its pursuit of Cup and league honours as well as developing players to reach their goals of playing at a higher level of football.” 51