SHOTTERY is set to have its first football team in 30 years this summer thanks to the efforts of a 22-year-old resident, writes Cian Cheesbrough.
Shottery United will compete in the Stratford Alliance for the 2019/20 season and will play its home matches at Stratford-upon-Avon’s recreation ground.
The club are currently looking for coaches, players and other volunteers to join a rapidly growing team.
Joseph Wheatley, whose garden backs onto Shottery Fields where the team will train, said he initially joked with friends about forming the club, but then decided to make it a reality.
“It was something I spoke about with my friends, but I don’t think they thought anything would come of it,” he said.
“The idea of starting something brand new that everyone in the community can get behind and benefit from really appealed to me.
“I have always had a passion for football and I can’t wait to be a part of starting up this new team.”
The club’s sponsors so far include Stratford’s The Bear Freehouse, Solihull’s SilHill Brewery and Birmingham’s SF Group.
“Everything is sorted now from where we will be playing our home games, to our sponsors, to our team colours,” said Wheatley.
“So now we are just raring to get the season started.”
Wheatley has spent the last few months ensuring everything is in place for the club to be ready in time for the start of the season and it seems the ambition he has for the club knows no bounds.
“We are delighted to be part of the Stratford Alliance for our first season, but we do have one eye on the Midland Football League for future seasons which would put us on the football league pyramid – and from then on the world is our oyster,” he said.
“We can start to give Stratford Town a run for their money!”
The club’s launch on social media attracted a wave of interest by people across Warwickshire wanting to be involved with the club in some way.
“In particular we would love for anyone who would be interested in coaching to approach the club,” added Wheatley.
Wheatley also hopes the formation of the club can be a way of bringing Shottery residents together in a positive way.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for people within the community to support something that we can all get behind,” he said.
“You will be able to see us training in full force on Shottery Fields every week starting this summer.”
Pre-season training is set to begin at the end of July.
Anyone who wants to be involved with the club in any way should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or search Shottery United on Facebook or Instagram.