This Saturday 8th April, Hopefully Mersey Bank will be open. The weather forecast shows we should have a fine weekend, although as we are in Manchester, anything could happen. For confirmation of pitch suitablity parents should call 07712450181 and listen to the message left. Check out the weekends scores on the results page.
We have just signed up another team sponsor for the club. Murray’s Opticians from Moss Side have come on board with us to sponsor a kit for the under 13’s Yellow squad.
Shop manager Suhayel Issa will be only too pleased to meet any of our parents or their children to discuss ALL aspects of eye care. 173 Princess Road, Moss Side,
Manchester, M14 4RL . el: 0161 2261031 or 0161 2262865 Email: email@example.com
The soccer school is in dire need of new coaches 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 Club AGM is being scheduled for Sunday 2nd April. Venue TBC. The club is going in a positive direction and the new structure should bring stability and investment in due course.
SOCCER SCHOOL IS GOING ON TOUR
The Soccer School is going on tour. We have been invited to coach with a Grassroots Club in Norway. Several coaches are going over the week to deliver 3 days sessions to Rosseland Football Club, Norway. Their club is made up of 450 girls and boys aged upto to under 12. They have 75 qualified coaches plus volunteers assisting in running the teams. We hope to set up a blog to share the experience with anyone who is interested. Watch this space
Building on traditions
On Saturday April 6th our under 13’s teams will be hoping to host our Canadian cousins again. This relationship has been ongoing now for over 10 years. The teams will be playing simultaneously (at the same time) on Mersey Bank kick off to be confired. Thanks Fergus for bringing the guys over again, hope to see you soon.
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 Jackson (back row of picture).
The open age squad played their second round of games on Friday evening at Salford. Fielding 2 teams in the competition their oppositions was Bury FC, Bolton Wanderers, and You Can. The best win was the First teams 11 nil win against Bury FC. Captain Tim Dalton was the evenings top scorer with 14 on target. David and Alicia must get a mention for attaining 2 and 1 clean sheets respectively speaking. Well Done Guys, we are proud of you all.
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 25 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