Football Coaching Apprenticeship At Didcot Town - 26th May
A major opportunity for youngsters in South Oxfordshire to plan their future and develop their sports related career has emerged with this major new project launched by three experienced and respected partners.
This unique partnership brings together the experience and strengths of Oxford & Cherwell Valley College, Premier Sports Group and Didcot Town Football Club to provide the perfect platform for learning. Within a full time education programme, carefully designed courses will offer the student a range of industry recognised awards and hands on experience whilst drawing upon the community involvement of each of the partners — providing important social awareness and experience for students.
Oxford & Cherwell Valley College has an established infrastructure and first class tutors with over a decade of experience in full time football education achieving outstanding results and many players progressing onto University as well as professional football clubs.
The formal linking of the Didcot Town youth structure and the full time education programme is a natural progression for the club who can also boast strong school links within its structure of over 20 teams across all age groups. Didcot Town President, Ed Vaizey MP, the newly appointed Culture, Media & Sport Minister, commented. "I welcome this fantastic new initiative which is yet another string to Didcot Town's bow. With their many youth teams, a fantastic first team and now involved with sports education, the club is at the very heart of Didcot's sporting community"
Justin Merritt, who has played and coached in many Oxfordshire teams during the past 10 years is managing director of Premier Sports Group who have an excellent reputation in delivering innovative and tailored education courses on behalf of schools and colleges throughout Oxfordshire. The combined internal tutorial strength of the partner organisations makes the flexibility and educational quality of the course opportunities second to none — the integration of the students into the structure and environment of the football club will add a unique social dimension to their personal development.
The Partnership can offer work experience and contacts into industry and this ‘real life’ awareness will be a key advantage for the students as they seek employment after gaining their selected BTEC, NVQ, and FA Coaching qualifications including Refereeing and First Aid for Sport. For those choosing to extend their education to degree based courses there are also links in place with several universities as well as scholarship opportunities overseas. At all stages of the career development of the students the focus is on flexible choice together with relevant and appropriate experience.
The students, aged from 16 to 18 will have the opportunity to represent Didcot Town in the Allied counties league with other midweek matches against professional, semi-pro and college/university teams Students will also have the opportunity to join other Town teams and training sessions and have every support to develop both technically & tactically. This progressive club have a modern facility at the nPower Loop Meadow Stadium with over 10 acres of playing surfaces.
Taster Evening Thursday June 10th 2010 at Didcot Town Football Club
The Taster Evening will provide potential apprentices with an insight into this exciting Football Programme. The Evening will consist of an overview presentation about the programme from Premier Sports Group and Oxford & Cherwell College, followed by a practical football session on the pitch with one of our professional football coaches.
How to register your interest?
T: 0845 6029299
Or visit your school connexions office
Oxford & Cherwell Valley College
T: 01865 551015
Premier Sports Group Ltd
T: 0845 2641152
Didcot Town Football Club
T: 07882 154612
'Lyner' Becomes Railwaymen's No 2 - 24th May
Andy Lyne, who resigned as Witney United manager last week, has joined Southern League Premier Division Didcot Town.
Stuart Peace has agreed to remain as manager of Didcot Town for next season, with Andy Lyne working alongside him. Peace commented that he is still 100% committed to the job. "Anything less would be unfair to the football club, I still have the desire to improve and push the club forward and that is why I am looking forward to the challenge of a new campaign. Another big reason I'm staying is that former Witney United manager Andy Lyne (pictured) has agreed to join as my assistant. I have been a friend of 'Lyner' a long while and I have always wanted to work with him in management. He brings 25 years of experience with him plus an unprecedented knowledge of local players. This is going to be vital, I believe, in getting us to where we want to be."
Peace continued. "Alongside 'Lyner', I am hoping that Richard Hill will remain as coach. Everyone knows of my admiration of Richard, that's why I brought him here in the first place, and if we can keep hold of him I think we'll have a management team as strong as any in the (Southern) League."
Didcot Management Change - 23rd May
Paul McKay has decided to step down as manager of Didcot Towns' Hellenic League side and the club are pleased to announce the appointment of Craig Hughes as manager for the forthcoming season.
Hughes, who holds FA coaching badges as well as being a qualified referee, has been involved with the Didcot Reserves team for the previous season, he will be accompanied in this seasons campaign with Level 2 Physio Dave Noble as Assistant Manager. Hughes is aware that he needs to attain the minimum of a top ten finish in Hellenic League Division One East next season to ensure the status of the team within the Hellenic League in 2011, assuming the League re-structure is approved. Hughes stated: "Paul McKay has done a great job in the previous seasons, I know what the team needs to achieve and retaining Division One status is my target, any more will be a bonus."
Behind the scenes Didcot Town have agreed negotiations with a third party which could help the progression of Reserves team, details of which will be announced shortly.
The Railwaymen's Noughties - 31st December
"Steve Clare, who has been involved with Didcot Town for more years than many would care to remember, gives his views on the clubs success during 'The Noughties' and presents a wonderful decade of success for the 'Railwaymen'. Brian King
With 2010 only hours away, and a new decade looming, time to reflect upon what is likely to remain one of the most significant decades in the history of Didcot Town.
In terms of ‘major' honours ("major" in terms of what was available for us to win) we managed to claim ten trophies: and 10 major honours in 10 years is a remarkable achievement, even more so in the context of our previous successes in the years that preceded the last ten years (or lack of them). That's not to denigrate the efforts of past players and teams, but it's safe to say (in terms of filling out the trophy cabinet), the ‘noughties' are likely to be our most successful for a very long time.
One of the incredible statistics in our recent past has been our ability to perform when it matters - we have not been beaten in a cup final for more than 15 years. During the past decade we've won the Berks & Bucks Senior Trophy 3 times, the Hellenic League Challenge Cup 3 times (the first club to achieve a hat-trick of wins in a row), the Hellenic League Supplementary Cup and not forgetting the most notable cup success of all: TheFA Vase.
Add to that the winning of the Hellenic Premier Division, which might now seem fairly trivial but after more than 50 years of waiting lifting that particular shield was becoming an obsession; and latterly the Southern League play-off victory last season: that's an impressive list which will take some beating in any decade.
Through all this time we have witnessed many memorable moments. We've also had some terrific players turn out for us. In the past 10 years a number of them have earned for themselves a special place in our club history...players who will be talked about in 50 years in the same glowing way that those who played in the 1953 Hellenic League winning side still are. Names like Ian Concannon (nearly 300 goals in 300 games the most prolific striker in non-league football Step 5 and above in the country?!), Jamie Heapy (more than 600 appearances now, skipper at White Hart Lane and still going strong), Danny Campbell (perhaps the classiest defenders of them all, part of our Vase winning team, but cruelly struck down by leukaemia), Paul Noble (another long serving defender, a legend...just ask him), Paul Powell (arguably the most talented players ever to play for the club, in any decade), Stuart Beavon (superlatives not necessary), Andy Cooper (one of the best defenders ever to pull on the red and white shirt), Dwaine Strong (his spell with us blighted by injury but in the early part of the decade the quickest player ever seen at the Loop), Jack King, who can forget his part in our promotion last season,(to the Southern League Premier Division) but also an ever-present at training and on matchdays, a manager's dream...and many, many others. And who would have thought the likes of Peter Rhoades-Brown would have played for the Diddymen when he was turning-out for Chelsea in the 1980's? (Apologies to anyone not mentioned, you were all important!).
In terms of most memorable games opinions are bound to differ on what were the most notable. Even last weekend's game against Oxford City will be added to many supporters' list I'm sure, but I wasn't there and my top ten (in no particular order) is:
1. Colne 2-3 Didcot: FA Vase 5th Round win in 2004/05 at Colne - just the best weekend imaginable - a great win in farcical conditions, first time players had ever stayed away night before a game, Noz's birthday, Colne Rugby club, hangovers and singing...
2. AFC Sudbury 2-3 Didcot: FA Vase Cup Final 2005...nothing needed to say.
3. Berks & Bucks Final at Chesham 2000/01 Didcot 2-1 AFC Wallingford...easy to forget how big this game was at the time - two Oxfordshire clubs in the final of the Berks & Bucks Senior Trophy (?), Ian Concannon, Danny Campbell, Bradley Ward, Paul Hannigan playing for Wallingford (all later to become significant players in Didcots' success story)...350 travelling over from both clubs (we had more than Wallingford of course!). At the time this was a significant win and Pete Cox's finest hour as manager.
4. Bishops Cleeve 1-1 Didcot 2005...fancy dress, Stuart Beavon goal and the point we needed to be Hellenic League Champions, very gracious Cleeve players and officials...happy days
5. AFC Totton 1-2 Didcot: Southern League Division One Play-offs 2009...Against all the odds, three massive away wins in two weeks against 1st, second and then third placed clubs in a row.
6. Didcot 2-2 Oxford City (Southern League Division One Play-offs 2007/08), lost on penalty's...sensational game, drama, tears and penalties. You don't always get what you deserve!
7. Jarrow 0-1 Didcot FA Vase semi-final 2nd leg 2005...best side won it in the end but the prize on offer was so great you still worried...brilliant defending and Bev's on the scoresheet again...
8. Leamington 3-5 Didcot 2009...only a few weeks ago but this game had two hat-tricks, two sendings-off, 8 goals and a Diddy victory away from home in front of 500+ supporters...
9. Didcot 2-1 Shortwood 2006...Down to ten men, goalkeeper Chris Webb sent-off with makeshift keeper Paul Bedwell between the sticks, 1-1 and time running out...up pops Stuart Beavon with a wonder goal in the closing stages and another vital 3 points in our search for the Hellenic title.
10. Didcot 5-5 North Leigh 2002 Hellenic League Floodlit Cup...not the most important game we've ever had but against a team that we failed to beat all season in five attempts, surely 4-1 at half-time we would win this one...er, nope, 4-4 at full time and 5 each after extra-time, we'd lose in the replay!
I'm sure you can add your favourites to this list, and your favourite players of the last decade. And now's your chance on the www.didcottownfc.com forum. We will take-on board all nominations for 'Best Player' and 'Best Match' and we'll then add a poll vote on the website so you can vote for the definitive winner for each category for the 'noughties'.
Finally, and on a sad note, alongside the great and memorable moments and players, the last ten years has also seen us lose a number of dear friends and supporters including, from the DTFC committee, two of the most influential people we've ever had; Ted Dadds and Paddy Burton. They may be gone, but their friendship and influence on Didcot Town FC will never be forgotten.
Railwaymen Draft In Williams - 27th November
Didcot Town have registered contract player Andrew Williams on Hellenic League forms after the player has been sidelined though injury.
Williams has been out of action during the past six weeks for the Zamaretto League Premier Division side, following an injury. Involvement in the Hellenic League with the clubs' Reserves side, provides a perfect solution for the player to regain match fitness.
Didcot Town are proud of their Hellenic League heritage, being one of the founder members of the League and retaining an unbroken involvement since the inaugural season in 1953.
Commenting to the League Office, Didcot Town secretary Pat Horsman said. " I know in certain areas there is a feeling that Reserves sides should not play in the League proper. When offered the opportunity for our Reserves to play at Step 6 level in Hellenic League Division One East, we welcomed the chance."
"It is a club team in its own right, not just an add-on for the sake of it. Involvement at Step 6 has given us the opportunity to attain sponsorship to support the financial cost of running the team, Didcot based Station Flooring became main sponsors of the side in the pre- season. Yes, we have found the costs associated with running a side in Division One East to be
greater than when the team were in the Hellenic Reserves section. But we feel that it is an investment that gives us the opportunity to complete a football development ladder at the club, playing at the best level available to us, from children's football through to Step 3 level."
"Playing in Hellenic League One East, has also provided those Didcot supporters who possibly do not have the time to travel to some of our Zamaretto League away fixtures, an additional opportunity to watch a decent level of football at Reserves home games. And as last week, when the first team did not have a fixture, despite the howling gales, a good following attended the local derby at Milton and enjoyed watching a very good game of football".
Didcot Town Reserves face their biggest test yet when they travel to Premier Division Binfield tomorrow in the Supplementary Cup, Williams should be making his first appearance for the Reserves. Paul Powell and Ian Concannon
will also feature in the Didcot side which is a mixture of youth and experience.
Conners Comes Home - 13th November
Didcot Town are highly delighted to welcome back, Club icon and Hellenic League goal scoring legend,Ian Concannon.
31 year old Concannon (pictured), signed both Southern and Hellenic League forms on Thursday, transferring from Hungerford Town. Though he wishes to concentrate on Hellenic League competition, Didcot Town first team manager, Stuart Peace has included Concannon in his squad to travel to Tiverton for the Southern League Premier Division fixture tomorrow.
Didcot Town Press Officer, Steve Clare, commented. "Conners is looking to get some fitness back and primarily he's signed to play for us in the Reserves and the Hellenic Division One East. But it's great to have Conners back into the fold irrespective of which team he plays for. He is the best finisher this club has ever, or probably will ever have, and his heart is here at Diddy. I think its excellent news and I wouldn't be surprised that his Didcot goalscoring record passes 400 in the not too distant future."
Didcot Charity Golf Day - 23rd July
More than seventy golfers from Didcot Town Football Club and Didcot Railway Staff Club will tee-off at Goring & Streatley Golf Club tomorrow( Friday 24 July) hoping to raise plenty of money for the Breast Cancer Care charity.
Competition for the Margaret Roberts Memorial Trophy, as it will be known, has been organised by Didcot Town's physio Mark Roberts who sadly lost his mother to the disease last year.
Many Didcot supporters, and her friends at the Railway Staff Club where she was an active member for many years, will remember Margaret fondly. And we will also remember her battle against cancer, one she fought with dignity
and bravery until the end.
Golfing prize winners and presentations will be held in the Didcot Railway Staff Club from 7pm on Friday where the fundraising activities will continue (all are welcome to come along).
Donations can be made direct to Breast Cancer Care (Reg charity no. 1017658) via their website http://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/
Or you can send cheques (payable to 'Breast Cancer Care') to Didcot Town Football Club and they will pass them on.
Pictured in their special Margaret Roberts Memorial Trophy pink polo-shirts are (L-R) Anisha Roberts, Paul Noble, Mark Roberts, Rod Dorrian and Corby Roberts.
The Carpetboys Sponsor The Railwaymen - 14th July
Didcot Town (The Railwaymen) have secured Sponsorship for the Reserve team following them gaining promotion to the FTL Futbol Hellenic League Division One East.
Didcot Town Football Club are delighted to announce that Station Flooring Ltd, whose showroom and head office is based just 500 yards from the club's Loop Meadow Stadium, have agreed to be the Reserve's main sponsor in season 2009/10.
The company has links with other clubs in the South Oxfordshire area but Station Flooring's Directors, Graham Brewerton and Kevin Peacock, are particularly pleased to be involved with Didcot Town FC: "We were keen to support a Didcot-based side, and in Didcot Town we have a team located within sight of our Station Road showroom, which is ideal. Everyone at
Station Flooring Ltd are looking forward to being a part of the club's ongoing success."
Town chairman John Bailey added. "The financial crisis is hitting clubs up and down the country hard and securing sponsorship from local business is key to the ongoing development of the club. It's particularly pleasing that Station Flooring, our near-neighbours, have recognised the achievement of our Reserves and their support is invaluable. We are very grateful to Graham and Kevin and we hope it will prove to be a mutually beneficial arrangement for many years to come.
Station Flooring Directors Graham Brewerton (left) and Kevin Peacock holding up a Reserve Team shirt for the coming