Football Focus Issue 75 - Page 63

Cowes Sports “all Island” to increase local support and gradually fortunes improved until the Hampshire League Championship was won in 1994 and Wessex League status was secured. In 2004, a new Clubhouse and dressing room complex was opened, having been built entirely by volunteer labour. A new covered enclosure along with a turnstile block completed the development of the ground as it is today. Fifteen years in the top flight ended in relegation, but in 2015 the Club was promoted back to the Premier Division, where it remains, though last season, only a final day victory avoided another relegation. The Club has been very fortunate to have obtained the services of a new First team Manager, Steve Hunt, an England International, who enjoyed a long career with Coventry City, West Bromwich Albion, Aston Villa and New York Cosmos. Since Steve Hunt’s appointment, the mood at Westwood Park has been incredibly upbeat although, as an amateur side in a highly competitive, semi-professional League, success will be maintaining a place in the Sydenhams Football League, Premier Division. At present, a mid-table position has been attained after a difficult start against many of the League’s top sides. When the current spate of injuries, which have also had a knock-on effect to our Reserve side, has eased, we should be capable of staying away from the wrong end of the table. Our Reserve side plays in the Isle of Wight League Division 1, under the Management of Mark Greenslade, Keith McLaughlin and Coach Steve Spriggs, who have recruited a raft of the Island’s best young players. For those who don’t get a regular place in the Reserve side, they have also created a Development squad that will offer valuable pitch time in a series of friendlies throughout the season. Some of these impressive youngsters have already stepped up into the First team this season and it is hoped that many of them will form the backbone of the side in the years to come. A successful conclusion to the season would see both of our sides retain their places in their respective divisions and our First team to win back the Isle of Wight Gold Cup, reputed to be the most valuable trophy in English football. In each of the last four seasons, we have lost in the final to Newport, who also play in the Sydenhams Football League Premier Division. We have a passionate fan base of around one hundred and we are striving to increase the profile of the Club still further in the town. The biggest challenge we face in the next five years is to find replacements for the current Officers of the Club, all of whom are in their sixties and seventies. We have a large and enthusiastic committee and hopefully, they will step forward when the time comes. Up the Yachtsmen! WSM Associates was formed in 2002 by water industry experts with over 30 years combined experience in water regulations (Bylaws), legionella, network modelling, leak detection and distribution system management. Operating primarily in Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and the wider areas across the south of England, we are committed to keeping water at its very best for our clients, who include:- • Water companies • Hospitals • Schools • Care homes • Builders & Developers • Cruise ship operators and Ports Proud sponsors of Cowes Sports FC Telephone: 01983 241310 Website: www.wsm-associates.co.uk Unit 14 Broadfields Park, Seaview Road, Cowes , Isle of Wight PO31 7US www.footballfocusmag.com 63