Newbury Football Club
Newbury has a long history of local football, played in the town's Victoria district, stretching back to 1887 when its first team was officially formed. Newbury Football Ground, the only one in Newbury, has stood on the site since 1963 and has been used by all ages across the generations. The Clubhouse has been regularly used by the community for social gatherings and club meetings for over 50 years.
Following the demise of Newbury Town FC in 1995 due to financial difficulties and their successors AFC Newbury (not linked to the Boys & Girls club) in similar circumstances 10 years later, the empty Ground was running into disrepair. In 2006 West Berkshire Council invited Newbury-based Old London Apprentice FC to take over the ground which the team did and in 2008 by signing a 10 year lease. Newbury FC was born and in 2007/08 they won promotion to Division 1 East of the Hellenic League. They currently play in the Thames Valley Premier League.
Chairman and experienced groundsman Keith Moss has won three groundsman awards and in 2016 came runner up in the Berks & Bucks FA. The county FA has also recently highly praised the quality of the pitch at Newbury Football Ground as being one off the top grounds for pitch quality in the region.
Notable former players
Proof that Newbury plays an important role in the national game, both from developing future talent and as a vehicle for existing talent to play and manage can be seen in the list of notable former players - Theo Walcott and Charlie Austin played for the AFC Newbury youth sides. Other famous players include Brendan Rodgers, Steve Kean, Brett Angell, Darren Angell, Martin Hicks, Steve Richardson, Peter Rhodes-Brown, Mike Masters, Stuart Beavon, Mark McGhee and Ian Maidment.
Football League History at Newbury Football Ground
•1952-53 Joined Metropolitan & District League
•1959-60 League changed name to Metropolitan League
•1962-63 Joined Hellenic League Premier Division
•1972-73 Relegated to Division One
•1973-74 Promoted to Premier Division
•1977-78 Hellenic League runner-up
•1978-79 Hellenic League Champions
•1980-81 Hellenic League Champions (2nd time)
•1982-83 Athenian League Champions
•1983-84 Joined Isthmian League Division Two
•1984-85 Joined Division Two South on re-organisation
•1991-92 Joined Division Two on re-organisation
•1993-94 Isthmian League Division Two Champions
•1995 Relegated to Division Two; Newbury Town disbanded
•1996-97 AFC Newbury Wessex League runners-up & League Cup winners
•2004-05 AFC Newbury reached 3rd qualifying round of FA Cup & FA Vase quarter finalists
•2006 AFC Newbury senior side disbanded, but youth club continued to flourish
AFC Newbury Boys & Girls and AFC Newbury Colts
AFC Newbury was formed in 1996 from the resources of three local clubs – Ecchinswell (founded 1906), Shaw Boys & Belles Juniors (established in 1972) and Wickham's U17 Youth Team.
AFC Newbury Boys & Girls, which incorporates AFC Newbury Colts, is a community-focused youth football club providing organised football training and team match play for over 350 children from Newbury and its surrounding towns and villages from the ages of 5 to 18.
The Club states on their web site “We passionately believe football, like all sport, inspires young people and provides a focus for personal and physical development from early years into adulthood. We’ve seen first-hand how sport can turn lives around”.
Run by a dedicated team of unpaid volunteer committee members, managers, coaches and parent helpers, their aim is to provide football for all, irrespective of race, religion, creed, ethnicity or ability, in a fun, friendly and safe setting to build skills, team spirit and self-esteem. They are committed to creating and preserving a positive environment for children to play the best football they can.
The Club is affiliated to the Berks & Bucks FA who awarded them its FA Charter Standard in 2003. This Charter Standard scheme sets standards of coaching, administration and child protection for football clubs working with young people. Their coaches and managers first undertake the FA Level 1 Coaching qualification, which includes emergency aid and safeguarding children elements, and are security checked (CRC - Criminal Records Check). Many coaches are licensed and take higher qualifications to improve their skills at delivering quality football training. AFC Newbury Boys & Girls also support the FA's Respect programme which advocates mutual respect between players, officials, coaches and spectators.
The club's squads currently compete in the Reading & West Berkshire League, the South Chiltern Minor League (both Reading & Newbury area), the Peter Houseman Youth League (Basingstoke, Andover, Newbury & Reading area) and the North Wilts Youth Football League (Swindon and west of Newbury).
AFC Newbury is also accredited with discovering England and ex-Arsenal (now Everton) professional footballer Theo Walcott.
Newbury Ladies Football Club
Newbury Ladies team was formed in the season 2003/4 and is run entirely by volunteers providing high quality coaching and football. The initial group of players comprised of players from AFC Newbury Boys & Girls and from Shaw Boys & Belles which became part of AFC Newbury Boys & Girls in 1996. Newbury Ladies play in the Premier Division and play their games on Sundays.
This season (16/17) Newbury Ladies FC is playing in the FA Women's Cup, and in the Berks and Bucks County Women's Senior Cup
History of Newbury Ladies FC:
•2003-4 Berks and Bucks Women’s County League Plate Winners
•2004-5 Thames Valley Counties Women’s Football League Cup Winners
•2004-5 Thames Valley Counties Women’s Football League Division 1 Champions.
•Promoted to Southern Region Womens Football League Division 1
•2008-9 Reserve Team Thames Valley Counties Women’s Football League Division 3 Runners Up.
•Promoted to Thames Valley Counties Women’s Football League Division 2
•2010-11 Reserve Team Thames Valley Counties Womens Football League Shield Runners Up.
•2011-12 Southern Region Jubilee Cup Runners Up.
•2013-14 Southern Region Division 1 North Champions.
•Promoted to Southern Region Women’s Football Premier League
Newbury District Primary Schools Football Association
Newbury District Primary Schools FA (NDPSFA) is a representative side selected from member schools. The team plays against other representative sides and competes in regional and national competitions.
NDPSFA is a highly aspirational level of football and has been for many generations of primary school children. Trials take place to select the best year 6 and 9 school year children from the Newbury district and the selected players go on for one season of competitive matches across the South of England. A strong spirit of sportsmanship is encouraged, with smart dress before and after games and with food and refreshments provided for the visiting team after each game
NDPSFA has a long established tradition of a football tour, either to Jersey or within the UK, depending on the parents fundraising activities. Many local men in Newbury into their 40’s and 50’s will still fondly recall their time on tour with NDSFA
NDPSFA has confirmed its desire to utilise Newbury Football Ground to host games from visiting teams from other Primary Schools Football Associations.
Pro-cision Football Coaching Limited
Pro-cision offers a range of football coaching services to players, teams and coaches from beginner through to Elite Level.
With over 20 years' experience of delivering football coaching initiatives in local communities and professional academies Pro-cision is able to provide a service that prides itself on the latest and most effective coaching methods and styles appropriate to the age and ability of the group.
Football services that Pro-cision provide in West Berkshire are:
•Elite Training Centres (7-15 years)
•Football Academies (10-14 years)
•Football and Education Academies (16-18 years)
•School Holiday Courses
Pro-cision believe everyone should be given the opportunity "to achieve their full potential" and this ethos underpins everything that they do. They also work in partnership with Global Premier Soccer, the largest soccer coaching provider in the United States.
The Football Association of England & Wales (the FA)
The national body for football in England and Wales, the FA has been actively engaged and involved with the NCFG to support the aims of protection of the Newbury Football Ground. A report from the FA in relation to football in West Berkshire identified that:
•The FA 3G mapping (April 2016), identified the need for an additional 4 and half full size 3G pitches in West Berkshire to meet current demand.
•The estimated health costs of inactivity in West Berkshire are £1.5m per year.
•Sport related activity is worth over £68m per year to the West Berkshire Economy.
•There is a very clear link between poor facility experience (including availability of pitches) and declining participation.
•A significant slice of the £260 million FA National Game Strategy budget over the next four years has been allocated to improving facilities directly.
•The loss of playing fields has been well documented and adds to the pressure on the remaining facilities to cope with the demand, especially in urban areas.
•The FA Chairman’s Commission identified facilities as a key priority for future investment alongside revised and improved coaching structures.
•The FA 3G mapping (April 2016), identified the need for an additional 4 and half full size 3G pitches in West Berkshire to meet current demand.
•The lack of an up-to-date, playing pitch strategy in West Berkshire undermines the Council's ability to make fully informed decisions on the future pitch provision in West Berkshire.
The FA report concluded that better pitches and greater availability to use them are the key triggers to bring about greater participation across the game. That’s why The FA is placing significant investment in building more pitches (synthetic and natural turf) and protecting and enhancing existing ones. It is essential to the FA not only in sustaining the eleven million people that play football in England but also in support of the FA and the government ambition of getting more people playing the game. Protecting and enhancing football in Newbury is vital component of its strategy.
Report from the FA supporting the ACV application for Newbury Football Ground
In support of the Newbury Community Football Group bid to list the Newbury FC ground and facilities at Faraday Road as an Asset of Community Value the following information will help to demonstrate the alignment of the groups ambitions with FA and Sport England/government priorities.
Role of Sport in West Berkshire
It is important to recognise that sport makes a profound and positive impact on individuals, communities and wider society. Boosting participation in sport can generate a range of social and economic benefits for local communities.
There is a strong body of evidence of the health and physical fitness benefits of sport, for example the link between physical inactivity and obesity and the role of physical activity in reducing the risk of cardiovascular heart disease. The estimated health costs of inactivity in West Berkshire are £1.5m per year.
Evidence on economic benefits includes information on employment levels, the impact of sporting events and the economic benefits from health improvements associated with increased physical activity. Research commissioned by Sport England shows the direct contribution of sport related activity is worth over £68m per year to the West Berkshire economy. There is an additional £65m economic value per year in improved quality and length of life for West Berkshire residents combined with health care costs which are avoided in the local area.
The FA State of the nation report – December 2015
The FA has released data from the largest ever survey into grassroots football it has undertaken. The national grassroots surveys have been conducted by the FA insight team each year since 2011.
During October 2015 more than 28,750 players, coaches, referees, staff and volunteers responded to the online poll. And results show that their commitment to supporting the national game is steadfast – with more than three quarters of respondents indicating that they plan to maintain or increase their involvement next season.
More than half (52%) hold the view that football is the most value-for-money sport to take part in – beating cycling (36%) and running (32%). But the survey also confirms areas where it is widely accepted the state of the grassroots game needs to improve.
When it comes to playing facilities, in line with the findings of Greg Dyke’s Chairman’s Commission, the survey found that among existing players, availability of pitches remains the biggest factor in how much they play, and a lack of quality of pitches is putting them off playing more.
The survey found that players with access to better quality pitches would to play 25% more often than currently, while those playing on poorly maintained pitches are likely to reduce the amount they play next season.
Essentially, there is a very clear link between poor facility experience (including availability of pitches) and declining participation.
Currently in England, 83% of pitches are publicly owned and, as austerity measures kick in, local authority budgets are increasingly being squeezed. Funds for pitch maintenance are often at risk as councils are forced to prioritise essential services.
Berks & Bucks FA
Like their national body the FA, the Berks & Bucks FA has also been very supportive of the aims of the NCFG and the need to protect the Newbury Football Ground.
The information below was provided by the Berks & Bucks FA, outlining a county and local context in support of the Newbury Community Football Group bid to list the Newbury FC ground and facilities at Faraday Road as an Asset of Community Value.
Berks & Bucks FA Vision:
Lead, Protect & Support “Your Journey in Football” by working in the interest of the long-term interests of grassroots football across the County.
The Berks & Bucks FA is the 7th largest County FA in the Country with 734 clubs (3298 teams), 63 competitions and thousands of volunteers across the county.
Within West Berkshire, we have 55 Clubs, 234 teams affiliated to the Berks & Bucks FA who play regular grassroots football, training and weekly fixtures. 20/55 Clubs within the West Berkshire hold the FA Charter Standard mark which is an accreditation awarded to clubs rigorously adjudged to be well-run and sustainable – and which prioritise child protection, quality coaching and implementation of the Respect programme. FA Charter Standard Club, AFC Newbury Boys & Girls FC are one the clubs that hold this prestigious award and current affiliate with 16 teams while AFC Newbury Colts run 13.
Please refer to the below table which outlines our current baseline of teams within West Berkshire and the 2019 focus for retention or growth of new teams: -
LA: West Berkshire in Apr-16 (and 2019)
Total of Male Teams 131
No of Youth Male 77 (Growth)
No of Adult 11v11 Male 54 (Retain)
Total No of Female Teams 27
No of Youth Female 23 (Growth)
No of Adult 11v11 Female 4 (Retain)
Total No of Disability Teams 3
No of Male Disability 3 (Retain)
No of Female Disability 0 (Retain)
Mini Soccer Teams 73 (Growth)
Newbury FC (Season 14/15) was one of 12 clubs playing Step 5 Football meeting the relevant ground grading requirement, a facility few and far between within the County.
Faraday Road, not only a regular home to Newbury FC and the Reserves team but also hosts regular fixtures for local grassroots community clubs, namely AFC Newbury Boys & Girls Youth 11v11 teams, Newbury & District Sunday League (3 Divisions, 21 registered adult 11v11 teams), Berks & Bucks FA representative football and Berkshire Schools representatives football. This facility underpins the main strands of the County FA vision and is a key enabler in ensuring we retain the current team participation levels within Newbury & the West Berkshire area.