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St Martins U18 Registration

Reminder to this years Oswestry Boys FC U16’s and Ellesmere Rangers U16’s who’s players are invited along to the Venue, Parkhall this Wednesday to meet and greet our new Under 18’s and First Team managers. This will be the first opportunity for U18’s players to sign-up for next seasons squad and look at the plans for the coming pre-season friendlies, tournaments and training schedule.

Contact Ande Joseph, Paddy Harrington or Aaron Allen for more info.

We look forward to seeing you all there.

*Regestration event starts at 7:30*

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Paul Moore Appointed First Team Manager

St. Martins Football Club are delighted to announce the appointment of Paul Moore as first team manager.

 

Paul is an ex professional footballer at Hull City and Portsmouth who had his professional career cut short by injury. He went on to play semi-professionally afterwards. Paul holds a UEFA A License and he started his coaching career at Macclesfield Town, with roles at Manchester City and The FA also. His management career has seen him at Congleton, Leek Town, Warrington, Clitheroe, Colwyn Bay and Northwich Vics.

 

General Manager Craig Rogers said on the Appointment “Paul impressed the interviewing panel from the moment he walked in. You could see he had a real passion for football but was very grounded and believed in the right values and cultures around a club. To have a manager of Paul’s calibre wanting to work with us isn’t an opportunity we wanted to let us pass by. Holding a UEFA A license, attention to detail, understanding the clubs position in our development and wanting to help the club where huge attractions to us and his experience of managing at a higher level will hopefully see Paul have a real positive impact on our club moving forward. We are excited to get working together and hope to continue our progress as a club moving forward.”

Paul said:

“I’m delighted to be given the opportunity to manage at St Martins FC.

The club impressed me with the professional approach and after meeting with the club officials it is evident that they want to move the club in the right direction at the right kind of pace.

St Martins is a new chapter and I believe with my experience and commitment we can make positives strides in the up and coming season.

I am really looking forward to meeting the players and getting started.”

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CLUB STATEMENT – FIRST TEAM MANAGER

The committee of St. Martins Football Club can confirm that we have accepted the resignation of first team manager Dan Stevens.

We achieved a very credible eleventh placed finish and county cup semi-final for our first season in the North West Counties Football League under Dan’s guidance.

As a committee, we would like to place on record our thanks to Dan after we have witnessed a fantastic style of football since Dan’s appointment in December 2016, as well as picking up the league cup trophy in our last season with the West Midlands League. Dan was also instrumental in our application for Step 6 football and entering the FA Vase for the first time in our History.

We are thankful for Dan in joining us at a very difficult time in the clubs grand history and Dan will always be welcome back at the club.

Further announcements on the first team manager position will be made in due course.

The Committee

St. Martins Football Club

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Vice-Chairman: End of Season Reflection

As a Fan, Ex-player, Manager and current Vice Chairman of St. Martin’s FC I take pride whilst reflecting on the conclusion of the club’s first season in the North West Counties League Division One South, playing at level six in the Football Leagues pyramid system, the highest level in the club’s long and illustrious history’. All those associated with the club were cautiously predicting at the beginning of the season, that we would have deemed to have succeeded by maintaining a place in the League. It was with great surprise and delight therefore, that we were able to view the club’s name sitting proudly at the top of the League on the 9thOctober 2018 having accrued 25 points after playing 13 games and already having beaten some of the anticipated high flyers of the league.      

Up until Christmas of 2018, St. Martins FC maintained a place in the top six of a league that included big clubs such as Rylans, Vauxhall Motors, Sandbach United, Abbey HaltonUnited, Stockport, Wythenshawe Town and FC OswestryTown. The club was more than holding its own, and were playing their most attractive football often away from home, the players appearing to relish the challenge that they hadclearly risen to. 

Player number 9, Karl Bailey celebrates the goal he scoredthat took his team into a two goal lead v Bridgnorth Town in the Simi-final of the TJ Vickers Shropshire Premier Cup. Credit: Ben Cuerden

This high-flying start to the season was even more remarkable as the club had suffered some serious injuries to several players in the pre-season friendly games however this plague of injuries returned pre-Christmas, alongside several player suspensions but the club wasn’t able to respond to this dilemma as well as they had at the beginning of the seasonresulting in a difficult period where they lost more games than they won, however they rallied against all the odds and were proud of their progression to the semi-final of the TJ Vickers Shropshire Premier Cup with impressive performances defeating Wem Town, Wellington and Shawbury in their pathway to the semi-final. They came desperately close to clinching a place in the TJ Vickers Shropshire County Premier Cup final but lost in a sudden death penalty shoot-out to AFC Bridgnorth following an extra time that they had to play with ten men after keeper George Austin left the pitch injured leaving centre forward Tom Ash as the emergency keeper, the club having used the allocated number of substitutes. 

This season has been exciting and the challenge of playing at a higher level has been more than achieved as the players have excelled at times. The dip in form that we experienced was influenced massively by the loss of certain influential players though injury. In retrospect we can reflect with considerable pride upon the progress that St. Martins FC has achieved this season as we anticipate a mid-table finish in the North West Counties League in our first season playing at this level, whilst applying for the opportunity to play in the FA Cup next season and looking forward to the creation of a Under 18 Youth Team. 

Personally I have been motivated by the challenges that playing in the North West Counties League has presented and delighted by the fascination of visiting new stadiums and meeting new people whilst sharing our pre-occupation with this wonderful thing that is called football.  

As we approach the conclusion of season 2018-19, I would like to say a big thank you to all our fans and sponsors without who’s support the club would not be able function. The committee members and support staff have proven their worth yet again through good times and bad but I would like to thank all the players who have performed so well again this season, playing some very attractive football, against some very good teams so finally I would like to thank our Manager, Dan Stevens, who is to be commended for taking the club to this level of football. 

Best wishes 

Les Williams 

Vice Chairman of St. Martins FC

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GUEST DAY 2019 – Stans Superstore

As we prepare for our final game of the season, we’d like to say a huge thank you to our sponsors, Stans Superstore in St Martins, for promoting our guest day as we aim to finish the season on a high!

We’d love to see everyone at our fun and football filled day to help support the Saints one last time this season!

🆚 Alsager Town

📆 27/04/19

⏰ 15:00

🏟 The Venue, SY11 4AS

🏆 League

🎫 £5 Adults/ £2 Concessions

📰 £12.00

GUEST DAY

⏰12:00

📍The Venue Guest Hall

🎫 £5

🤹🏻‍♂️ Entertainment

🛍 Stalls

🍟 Buffet

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Christmas Raffle Winners

The club is proud to announce that its Christmas Raffle, drawn on the 19th December at the Annual St Martins Christmas Dinner at the Greyhound Inn in St Martins, has raised £500 for the club this year. 

Thank you to everyone involved this year and Merry Christmas to you all.

 Here is the list of Winners and their Prizes – Congratulations.

 Signed Cook  book – Ticket 101 – Peter from Stans
 St Martins Hamper – Ticket 824 – Player, Callum Bennett
 Bottle of Wine – Ticket 95 – Steph Phillips
 Toy Gunn JCB – Ticket 88 – Joyce Fennell
 Christmas Light up Cuddly Toy – Ticket 758 – Player Jackson Hassanyah
 Cash Prize £50 – Ticket 774 – Player Jackson Hassanyah
 Cash Prize £25 – Ticket 21 – Amanda Lacey
 Piece of Jewellery – Ticket 869 – Lionel Edge (Criftins)
 Stans Hamper – Ticket 49 – Jim Wadkin
 Set of Club Merchandise – Ticket 689 – Manager Dan Stevens
 Parker Pen – Ticket 770 – Club Physio James Steer
 £20 House of Party Voucher – Ticket 318 – Andrew from the Greyhound
 £20 Greyhound Inn Voucher – Ticket 715 – Player Brendan Price
 Bottle of Whiskey – Ticket 933 – Player George Durrell
 Bottle of Wine – Ticket 673 – Player Jay Stoker
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MATCH PREVIEW: From The Balcony

We welcome Stockport Town today and hope everyone connected enjoyed their visit to the Venue.

When we last played Stockport, it was a very competitive game and I expect no different today, it took a last minute penalty from us to take three points after a dominant first half display, Stockport really improved in the second half. We have a run of home games which im sure the management and players will be looking to take as many points as possible from.

Our home form has been a bit patchy this season. We have had fantastic wins against Rylands, Barnton and Cammell Lairds, a good draw against Stone on Saturday and Nomads earlier in November, but we had poor performances against Eccleshall and Ellesmere. Im sure this is something we will improve when we play on a regular basis on the Venue pitch.

I was impressed with Jackson Hassanyeh on Saturday, he has had a period out of football with work and now he is starting to find fitness and form. He has a good attitude towards the team which I like and is always positive and hopefully as fitness and sharpness returns, he will be a real asset. George Durrell has started to look a very solid player in the last few games as well, which is pleasing for us as we have real competition for places in the squad and the manager will trust players if they are training hard and putting performances in. I would also like to welcome Liam Vaughan to our media team, who is doing a fantastic job, along with Mike and Prabhat who are working with video and analyst software for us.

There have been a couple of goodbyes lately, Dave Hartshorne has left us for Four Crosses, Dave is a great lad and I hope it works out for him there, he is a real talent, and if he applies himself correctly he could go and be a top player. We are also saying goodbye to Dave Easthope who is leaving to join Eccleshall. Dave is a great lad and someone we are sad to see depart but these things do happen in football. Andy, Dave’s dad, has travelled to 99% of the games home and way and even did photography for us and I will personally miss chatting to him on a match day. I wish both players all the best, except when we face Eccleshall in a few weeks.

Lets hope we attack today’s game and show some more good form like our games against Barnton and Stone!

Yours in Football

Craig Rogers

General Manager

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NEWS: Austin Wins Reusch Goalkeeper of the Month

After a superb November between the sticks, George Austin has been voted the Hallmark Security Division One South Reusch goalkeeper of the month.

The league website wrote:

“George appeared in all seven games for St Martins in a busy November (six league and one cup game) and kept three clean sheets and earned two Man of the Match nominations in the process.

His impressive form is no surprise to anyone at the club, as his consistency has meant he has not missed a game for the club since April 2017.

During November George made some key saves at crucial stages in games, and played his part in helping the Saints team earn valuable points in what was a tough month, when they lost just twice in seven games.”

Well deserved for the Saints ‘keeper!

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Remembering Derek

If you talk to anyone who is familiar with local football in Shropshire over the last 50 years, they will be aware of the name Derek Stokes! Derek was a renowned classic central defender with skills that graced the game. Derek achieved many football accolades including representing Shropshire and won numerous competitions and titles, in a career playing for his beloved St. Martins FC, a career, that started as a ambitious 14 year old, incredibly playing senior football as a young teenager and concluded as a dedicated ‘Club Manager’ who was prepared to play when required at the age of 60. Derek’s dedication to St. Martins FC included every possible role, from player, manager, treasurer, secretary to marking the pitch out and washing the kit.

Derek’s efforts were justifiably recognised at county level when the Shropshire FA presented him with a ‘Fifty Year Long Service Award’ in 2011 however, Derek was well known for many other positive reasons. Derek was the very first “Unsung Hero” of St Martins. Nominations were asked for and voting arranged through the then Parish Council’s ‘Newsletter’ and an overwhelming result confirming Derek as the St Martins “Unsung Hero” 2013.The Chair of the Parish Council at the time, ‘Sue Schofield’ described Derek as; “A man who inspired many” and remembered Derek as ‘one of those characters’ that anyone new to the village got to hear about very quickly.

Derek pictured at the centre of the photo with his mining colleagues.

Derek was proud to have been a ‘Senior Electrical Engineer’ at Ifton Mine, and was a respected, and inspirational ‘work colleague’ at the Mine so shared the Miner’s spirit of togetherness, a spirit that resonated in various other arenas. He was still playing competitive tennis for example, in his 60s, a passion that he shared with his beloved wife Sue.

His sons Martin and Simon were proud of Derek’s achievements alongside Jane and Sian, who Derek affectionately called their waifs and stray’s, all united in their pride and deep affection for Derek and Sue. Alongside friends they remember how ultra competitive Derek would be! Always determined to win when playing any game but never swore whilst competing, even in the most extreme circumstances he remained calm whilst those around him, particularly the opposition, lost their cool. This calmness was a priceless asset that benefited Derek and those close to him, all of his life.

Derek’s brother ‘Travis’ was a formidable fellow footballer, strengthening the St, Martins F.C. defence with powerful tackling at fullback, he and Derek were an impressive defensive combination. As an Ex-Miner, Travis shared the Miner’s ‘spirit of cooperation’, a spirit that was utilised in combination with Derek on and of the football field.

Derek epitomised ‘commitment’ investing 100% to the cause, and that cause, was often ‘St. Martins F.C’ however, he played in the ‘Shropshire Sunday League Cup’ for the ‘George FC’ but he justified this deviation because the games were played on a Sunday and importantly he agreed to play for the ‘George FC’ because he was asked to play by his friend Terry Stedman. Derek cared for his friends and in return, his friends cared about him, a fact personified by the huge number of people who attended Derek’s funeral.

Derek captured busy at work but typically smiling.

Although Derek won many sporting accolades and received justified acclaim for his massive investment into football, Derek would not seek the limelight and his modest temperament never sought that acclaim. Derek’s confidence in playing football however was not replicated as a spectator of his beloved ‘St. Martins FC’. As a spectator; he would often look away from the pitch when the team were not performing at their best. It was always an experience when Derek was trying to find the numerous venues that ‘St. Martin’s F.C’ played in the ‘West Midland League’ and whenever he stopped to ask someone the way, inevitably the wrong person would be asked so the wrong directions would be followed resulting in an inadvertent tour of the West Midlands before actually finding the correct venue.

Derek had a broad sense of humour however, so he would always laugh about the missed direction and point to the fact that, he always found the football ground eventually, and experienced the fascination of the West Midland urban sprawl and country-side as a result of the miss-direction. That was Derek, who never shied away from life’s challenges, who had a distinct appetite for those challenges but was able to smile and start again on the occasions when the direction toward those challenges wavered. In short, Derek embraced life; he and his wife ‘Sue’ both loved their family, the variation of their life which involved running their own gardening business, love of sport and ongoing friendships. Derek and Sue’s investment into life resulted in life embracing them, a fact typified by the relationship they have both shared with their family and friends, a love captured perhaps by their pet-dog ‘Abi’ who is still grieving following Derek’s death.

Derek pictured receiving the coveted Ethlestone Cup on behalf of St. Martins FC.

Derek would be proud of the fact that St. Martins F.C, are now playing at the highest level of the club’s 100 year-plus history as they compete in their first season in the ‘North West Counties League Division One (South)’ (20018-19). He would be amazed at the fact that the club have already topped the league and maintained a place in the top four of this league at the start of the season (20018-19). He would be even more surprised at the fact that if the club finishes the season in the top four they will play in the FA Cup next season. St. Martins FC is on the brink of amazing developments both on and off the field but none of these developments would be possible without the efforts and inspiration of Derek Stokes.

THANK YOU DEREK!

Written by: Les Williams (Vice Chairman of St Martins Football Club