Well, our lockdown is into the 3rd month. I am getting more and more calls and text asking if we have any idea of the soccer school return. Unfortunately we are still being guided by the FA and the government. The instruction at the moment is, ‘a coach can be out training with up to 5 players. There are too many kids at the soccer school for us to be able to organise the classes. The teams are planning for the start of the new season by training in small groups. Many of the coaches are carrying out zoom meetings with their players to maintain that social contact with them.
Any new recruitment for players can now be considered. As many people will be aware the ‘Pyramid System’ will be instilled from 2020/21. This means the best players in any age group will be encouraged to be in the same team, so to be played at the highest level possible. All other teams in that age group will be ‘Development’ teams. This concept is to ensure the players are being challenged to the max, this is for the players best interest. Player will not be forced to play in a particular team.
The Fletcher Moss Family would like to wish all its family members a safe and healthy return. Please look after yourselves and your family. Take care.
Please drop me (David 07712450181) a text if you need an update on our situation.
Under 11’s Girls looking for new players, highest standard only please. See the girls link for more information. The under 9’s Boys are looking for a top quality goal keeper and outfield players for the new season. Under 15’s Blue team are looking for building a stronger squad. We have a couple of ex academy players on trial. If there are any outstanding, hardworking, skillful with a high standard of discipline players, check out the boys link for coaches details.
The re-development of the changing rooms is still on going. The negative vibes from certain people, will hopefully have their minds and attitudes changed. We held two consultation drop in days for local residents to come in and comment. In total 11 residents turned up to have a chat. Just waiting on the council now to read through the planning application and give us a thumbs up or down.
The ‘Wildcats’ centre will re-open when the lockdown relaxes and the attendance hopes to be as strong or stronger. Coach Pat Johnson is over the moon with how well its gone so far since the group began. We have come to the business end of the season. Many of our sides are taking part in the finals of cup competitions. Our under 14’s teams face each other in their cup final. The entire club are very proud of all our teams and coaching staff and know that they will give 100% in any finals and end of season matches.
For confirmation of soccer school times parents should call 07712450181 and listen to the message left. For information on team training & trial sessions, please access coaches area for phone details and contact them direct. Remember the numbers are for coaches for season 2017/18.
The soccer school is in dire need of new coaches for the new season, who are enthusiastic about running a football team or just helping out with the Saturday morning sessions. We have several group in need of good solid leadership and an ambition to take on and develop. If there are any people who think they have the qualities to run a team, please give a call to David Horrocks (academy development officer and skills coach) 07712 450 181
The Soccer School went on tour. We were invited to coach with a Grassroots Club in Norway. Several coaches went over the week to deliver 3 days sessions to Rosseland Ballklubb Norway http://www.rosselandbk.no/. Their club is made up of 450 girls and boys aged up to under 12. They have 75 qualified coaches plus volunteers assisting in running the teams. We have set up a blog to share the experience with anyone who is interested. Watch this space
Building on traditions
On Saturday May 6th our under 13’s teams hosted our Canadian cousins again. This relationship has been ongoing now for over 10 years. The teams played simultaneously (at the same time) on Mersey Bank 9.45 kick off . Both teams played each of the two Canadian sides with mixed results which meant very littel because of the cordiality shown with all the officials and players. It was an excellent event. Thanks to Andrew and Eke for facilitating the players and thanks Fergus for bringing the guys over again, See you again in 2018.
HOW PROUD ARE WE?
It was signing on day at Manchester United and once again we can boast a host of talent that was spotted playing for us and have been selected to sign for next years under 9’s Academy. Both our under 8’s coaches (Rob & Mohammed) will need to look for some worthy replacements for next seasons campaign after loosing 5 players from their squads to the reds and more to other pro clubs (Stoke City, Everton and Stockport so far). The United players (pictured) are Left to right; Maison, Prince, Brandon, Corey and Felix. Mohammed who has mixed emotions about the signings because he has lost 2 goal keepers at the same time, so he is now on the lookout for a replacement for next season, any takers?
Manchester United’s under 18’s played in an indoor tournament in Germany and came away as winners (beating the Germans in the final in a penalty shoot out too). 4 of the players are ex Fletcher Moss soccer school players. Devante Redmond, Rohsaun Williams, Marcus Rashford and Cameron Borthwick J
The soccer school is in dire need of new coaches who are enthusiastic about running a football team. We have several group in need of good solid leadership and an ambition to take on and develop. If there are any people who think they have the qualities to run a team, please give a call to David Horrocks (academy development officer and skills coach) 07712 450 181
The club is moving on with their plans to secure a long term lease and serious funding to develop the site for us and the community. We need people with specialist skills in conveyancing, legal skills, surveying, building, building design, architects, public relations etc to help move forward. Would any of our members be willing to give up some time to benefit the club and build a more secure organisation.
Fletcher Moss Rangers – history beyond comparison
If you want to fully understand the pride of playing for your football club, you must know the club’s history. “All the young players here need to understand the history of the club. After I watched those DVDs I realised I needed to respect the shirt. I needed to respect the story.” So said Patrice Evra after he had signed for Manchester United and learned club’s history from several videos.
Fletcher Moss Rangers has its own uniqueness, as it has produced over 70 professional footballers in 31 years, a tally that can be only desired by many junior clubs across the UK.
Richard Hanson, 43, played in the very first Fletcher Moss Rangers team. His father, Nigel Hanson, was one of the founders of the club and offered crucial funding in the first steps of club’s footprint. Richard tells enthusiastically over a cup of coffee about a team that would dominate Manchester, the disparity of racism and how terrifyingly good Wes Brown was.
Richard and his friends, aged about 12, used to often play football in Fletcher Moss Park, in Didsbury in 1986. In front of the park is a pub called Ye Olde Cock Inn. Shaun Keene, the pub landlord’s son saw the potential of the boys and subsequently asked them if they wanted to form a team? The boys said yes, and so Shaun decided to register a team.
“Shaun had a Scottish friend, Allie, who said to call it Fletcher Moss Rangers, because he was a Rangers fan”, Richard tells.
Shaun had to leave the club after a few games due to family issues, so Richard’s dad Nigel took charge of the club. He funded new shirts, nets and footballs for the club and drove the whole team around in the back of his van. Fletcher Moss Rangers began to operate on a more solid foundation.
Multicultural club starts to gain reputation
Nigel wasn’t a football man but he cared about communities and saw an opportunity to help a group of boys stay out of trouble. The first teams were very multicultural, many of who came from poor backgrounds.
In the early 1990s Manchester was widely known as Gunchester, because in areas such as Hulme and Moss Side, there was much violence and many drug gangs in the deprived inner-city areas.
“There were two main estates in Moss Side: Gooch Close and Pepper Hill. They were rival drug gangs and they were shooting and killing each other. We had players from each estate, and my dad used to drive to Gooch, open up the back of his van and pick up players; then he’d drive to Pepper Hill and do the same, Richard laughs now. However 30 years back this was unprecedented, as both of these areas had been compared to urban war zones.”
Richard explains that the amount of talent in inner city Manchester, Moss Side and Longsight in particular, was untapped. Fletcher Moss found some seriously good players in the second and third years. It was the only club operating in the region with so many black and Asian players.
Naturally, the players didn’t really think about from which backgrounds their team mates came from. They just enjoyed their football with likeminded friends. Nigel however, was proud that he could bring a community together and allow multicultural group of boys to play football.
“Nigel once said that if he could keep a single child off the streets and away from drugs and guns, then he’d done his job.”
After few years of existence Fletcher Moss had teams in five different age groups. They started to build a strong reputation and became the biggest threat for top teams. On the flip side to this, they faced constant racism from opponents.
“I remember one match in particular. We played a team in North Manchester that hadn’t been beaten for four years. Then we came with all of our talent and easily half of the players were black. We beat the ‘unbeatables’ at their ground. After the match, surprisingly the parents of the opposition came over and started being racist towards our boys, using the nastiest language you can think of, and tried to start a fight in the changing room against 15 year-old kids. It was literally kicking off and I remember my dad in the middle trying to keep their parents away from our kids. Absolutely horrible.”
“Wes Brown was so far ahead of other kids”
At that time five players from Richard’s team also played for Manchester Boys (selected squad of the best 16 players from whole of Manchester). Fletcher Moss Rangers had the best under 15 year-olds from Manchester. Still the mix of multicultural children stood out.
Due to Fletcher Moss’ growing reputation they began to draw more and more of the best talent from inner city Manchester. The scouting system was completely different then and players stayed with their clubs for much longer than today – now the Academy system removes players from their teams. With the club growing not only in reputation but also in the number of players and age groups, the playing style and passion for the game remained ever constant. The same applied in the late 80s and Richard remembers how their team was always, in addition to talent, more up for the matches than the opposition.
Few years after, saw the emergence of Wes Brown who then suddenly started to catch the eye of people by showing his amazing ability.
“Wes was playing for under 9s and I remember coaching him only once. There were two boys, him and Leon Mills, who were just absolutely so far ahead of other kids. They were bigger, stronger, having shots from tens of yards out. I was astonished.”
Since then, Fletcher Moss has produced a long list of professional footballers: Danny Welbeck, Jessie Lingard, Ravel Morrison, Tyler Blackett, Kyle Bartley, Marcus Rashford, to name a few. Scouting and club Academy systems have revolutionised the game from the grassroots point of view and for Fletcher Moss it’s difficult to keep hold of players for many years.
Still, the awareness and club’s reputation is perhaps more widely known now than ever before. The club has a variety of teams in many age groups. Nigel Hanson left a great lasting legacy. The club still attracts a large number of players from the same inner-city footprint, from all ethnic backgrounds and welcomes all who want to play football.
“The incredible work Ron Jamieson and Dave Horrocks have done in the last 30 years has meant that the club has realised the potential that was created all those years ago. Whether the players went on to play for Man United and England – or only ever played for Fletcher Moss – Fletcher Moss has become a positive part of so many people’s lives.”
Blog is provided by Salford University’s BSc Business Management with Sport student Pauli Loukola