Getting to know: Chichester City FC

Every year there is a club that makes national and international headlines due to their success in the famous FA Cup. It really is a tribute to the competition that it still elevates clubs into the national spotlight and proves that the magic of the FA Cup is still alive.

Social media also means that we see and hear more from the players than ever before and one club that has taken advantage of this is Chichester City.

The club has recently gone viral, with players and staff posting videos of them partying in a service station after qualifying for the first round proper of the FA Cup. Whilst the FA Cup can provide funding for the next year for a club, Chichester have instead gone above and beyond and made a donation from their earnings to saving another football club in Bury FC.

Since we started writing this article it has also been announced that Chichester have received a bye for the second round of the competition, the club they would have faced Bury FC are currently expelled from the football league due to financial constraints.

The BetVictor Isthmian League side have already won six games in the FA Cup to reach the first round and after receiving a bye will hope to meet a big club in the next round.

So just who are Chichester City FC? The first Chichester Football Club was formed in October 1873 and added the title of City to it’s name in 1948. The club’s original home was at Priory Park but established it’s present head quarters in Oaklands Park in the early fifties.

The current club however, was founded in the year 2000 following a merger of Chichester City and Portfield, originally going by the name Chichester City United. In 2009 they changed to Chichester City.

The last couple of years has been a very successful one for the ‘Lillywhites’, with the club winning the Southern Combination Premier Division in 2018/19 earning promotion to the Isthmian League South East Division.

Since promotion the club have adapted very well to the level and after 6 games sit 8th in the league with games in hand on the clubs around them, mainly due to their successful FA Cup run.

From Everyone here at ‘Climbing The Ladder’, we’d just like to wish everyone at Chichester all the best for the coming seasons and we hope you get the draw you want in the next round of the FA Cup. #UpTheChi

Getting to Know: Albanian FC

Formed in 1957, Today’s ‘Getting to Know’ Albanian FC have nothing to do with Albania as some may presume, instead they were formed by former students and teachers of a nearby secondary school from their base in North Finchley, London.

fielding four mens teams every Saturday afternoon, Albanian currently compete in the Amateur Football Combination. The league is currently one of the largest in Europe and has been for a number of years.

Home matches are played at the fantastic FCH Southover venue boasting an excellent grass pitch and modern changing facility and where the weather plays foul, Albanian have primary use of the brand new 4G facility at College of North East London in Enfield.

For players who feel like they are pushing on a bit, Albanian also field two different veterans teams. Meaning ideally one you join Albanian, you’re there for life!

Albanian FC are an FA Chartered Adult club with UEFA and FA licensed coaches taking regular training throughout the season. Off the pitch and the club have a community partnership with Pinnacle Fitness & Health, which gives all the clubs teams a regular access to a full fitness programme, nutritional guidance and osteopathy and physiotherapy services.

The clubs sole aim is too provide regular competitive Saturday afternoon football in a safe, fun and respectful environment for those that want it, and from what we’ve seen, they are doing a very good job of it.

From everyone here at Climbing The Ladder, we’d just like to wish everyone at Albanian FC all the best for the rest of this season and the future.

Getting to Know: Avro FC

Something that you see frequently across Europe and the rest of the world, is clubs that start out as factory or company teams, grow and grow to the point where they compete at Semi-Pro football level. You don’t see this as often in the UK, however one club that can trace its roots back to the Failsworth factory of British aircraft manufacturers Avro is this weeks ‘Getting to Know’ Avro FC.

For most of their history, Avro have been members of the Manchester League with varying levels of success. The club was founded in 1936 and since then has had three separate spells in the Manchester League, finding success during all three spells winning the Manchester County Cup on five occasions and numerous league titles.

Avro FC call the Whitebank Stadium in Limeside, Oldham home, having moved there from their traditional home at Lancaster Club in Failsworth. The stadium allowed Avro to play at a higher tier on the Non-League pyramid.After a lot of hard work on and off the pitch at the now named Vestacare Stadium, in their first season at their new home Avro won both the Manchester County Cup and the Manchester League Premier Division.

 The move to the new stadium has allowed the club to pursue its ambitions of Step 6 football which was achieved in 2018 with promotion to the NWCFL Division 1 North.

The teams first season in NWCFL saw them reach the semi-final of the Macron Cup, and the final of the First Division Cup, as well as reaching the 3rd Round Proper of the FA Vase, therefore clearly Avro were ready to play a tthis level and higher. In the league they finished runners-up to Longridge Town and were promoted as one of the highest points per game clubs in the country.

Following this, the club has recently kicked of its campaign in the North West Counties Premier Division, and for the first time in its history has the honour of competing in the FA Cup.

Outside the first team, the club runs a whole host of junior sides and is a Charter Standard club. Starting at Under 6’s the club has a history of promoting players from within, with a number of players plying there junior football with the club. Avro FC have a lot to be proud of on and off the pitch and we are sure they will continue to develop quality young players who can progress into their first team.

From everyone here at ‘Climbing The Ladder’ we would just like to wish everyone at Avro FC all the best for this season and in the future.

Getting to Know: South Western Railway FC

Our next edition of ‘Getting to Know’ and as we always do, we are going from one end of the Non-League ladder to another.

After we’ve reached the glittering heights of Non-League covering social media famous 1874 Northwich, we are taking a look at newcomers to the footballing world South Western Railway FC.

With a squad made up entirely of members of staff from the South Western Railway Company, South West are affiliated with the Hertfordshire FA and as of 2019 will be competing in the GTR Railway Friendly Flexi League.

The Flexi league has been very successful, with only four teams participating, the league goes through 6 rounds in order to keep things interesting for all involved.

Similar leagues featuring Railway based sides are being set up across the country, for example the highly successful London Underground League which now has two divisions of roughly 6 teams.

As a newly set up team, the very organised lads who represent South Western, have a full tracksuit, home and away kit, no small feet for a Flexi League team. They’ve even found the time to produce some merchandise in the form of pin badges (yes we bought one).

We would just like to wish all the lads at South Western Railway all the best in the next round of their league and we hope you have a long and successful future.

Getting to Know: FC London Phoenix

Today’s ‘Getting to Know’ are a club that has a more traditional founding story compared to some of the more recent clubs we’ve covered.

FC London Phoenix like many Sunday League clubs, were founded when a few slightly intoxicated blokes decided to form a football team. From this original ‘meeting’, it was decided that the club would play in orange and even the clubs was name was settled upon. FC London Phoenix.

Formed in 2016, Phoenix have seen some silverware in their very short history, winning Division Four of the Southern Sunday’s League in their first campaign.

Due to this success a second team was set up as the league title attracted more players to the club, however just a couple of seasons later and Phoenix are back to being a singular mens team.

The 2018/19 season despite it seeing the folding of the second team, was a successful one in the history of FC London Phoenix as it saw the team finished comfortably mid-table, and the club reach its first ever cup final held at the home of Vanarama National League side Sutton United. The game was a tight affair but unfortunately Phoenix lost the game 3-2, however despite the result, it was a fantastic day for the club and their families.

As most Sunday League sides do, the club have regular socials where everyone connected to the club is invited and also your standard Christmas party and end of season awards night. Great for team bonding Im sure!

Despite last season being a mixed bag for the club, the team now have a full time manager and a squad of 20-25 lads week in week out and after an undefeated start to the 2019/20 season seem to be progressing as a club.

From everyone here at Climbing The Ladder, we’d just like to wish everyone at FC London Phoenix all the best for the future. We’d also like to say a big thank you to club captain and from what it seems Mr Injury Prone Simon for sending over heaps of information on the lads! All the best for the rest of the season.

Getting to Know: 1874 Northwich

Today’s ‘Getting to Know’ is here and we are off to look at a club that despite being formed 7 years ago back in 2012, is set to play its first ever season in its home town.

1874 Northwich is a club that’s very different from what you will often see at any club at whatever level on the football pyramid they play at in this country.

1874 are a club that are completely fan-owned and are very conscious about the impact they are having on their community. As we’ve already mentioned the club were formed in 2012 after many supporters of Northwich Victoria FC grew disenfranchised with the way that the club was being run. Therefore, instead of doing nothing the fans collectively decided to set up their own fan owned club.

The fan input into 1874 Northwich is constantly ongoing, even more so now that the clubs social media channels are growing. In the beginning fans helped decide the name and motto of the club, now in the present day the club are using its huge social media platform in order to allow fans and social media users alike to submit designs for the clubs home kit for the 2020-2021 season.

Despite in the past not being able to play in Northwich, 1874 have consistently attracted average crowds of between 2-3 hundred since their founding an impressive feat at this level in football and with the club now moving ‘home’ expect to see these figures increase.

Something that the new club felt was one of the most important things to focus on, was their impact in the community, helping others and giving them opportunities. This is why in its short history, 1874 have contributed to many local causes such as ‘Ciaran’s Cause’ and the club have formed links with local colleges in the area in order to help students gain experience, such as giving those doing photography the opportunity to do match day work. The 1874 Northwich FC Community Projects Team has also been formed in order to continue the work done by the club.

On the pitch, and 1874 Northwich have climbed the Non-League ladder to the point whereby the club currently sits in the Hallmark Security League Premier Division, along side the club that many of the owners used to support.

If you follow the club, either on match day or just on social media, its very obvious just how much this team contributes and how much it means to not just the owners but the normal fans that attend their games. And its because of this that we would like to wish 1874 all the best for this season from all of us at ‘Climbing The Ladder’.

Getting to Know: Potters Bar Town FC

After what was a very successful 2018/19 season, we took a trip down to The Pakex Stadium Parkfield, home of Isthmian League Premier Division side Potters Bar Town FC to see what makes The Scholars tick.

Founded in 1960, Potters Bar despite not having as long history as some other clubs, have found themselves steadily climbing the Non-League Pyramid. The Scholars were promoted into their current division in the 2017/18 season and have since established themselves at this level finishing 16th in the 2018/19 season.

Most of Potters Bar Town FC’s goals for the 2018/19 season were off the pitch,  the biggest to make the necessary ground improvements to reach the next level ground grading requirements – Grade ‘C’ – which meant the addition of two new stands – one a 100 seater and the other a 100 standing – this was achieved on time – thanks to the hard work of club members and supporters and fund raising and grants.

On the pitch however, and The Scholars achieved all of their goals too, including the massive one which was too establish themselves at this level. A target they seem to have achieved with last years mid-table finish and the great start they’ve made to this season.

The focus on the future that the club are going with, is also very clear in the fact that the club run a vast amount of junior football sides from under 10’s through to under 16’s.

The club’s growth in recent years is fantastic, and this has been supported by the town of Potters Bar, the rapidly growing attendance figures at The Scholars home games are just one of many clues to this.

From everyone here at ‘Climbing The Ladder’ we would just like to wish everyone at Potters Bar Town FC all the best for the rest of the 2019/20 season.