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Brightlingsea United F. C

A.F.C. Telford United

A.F.C. Telford United are an English football club based in Telford, Shropshire, playing in the Conference North league at the sixth level of the English football pyramid. Telford is one of the largest towns in England without a league football club .

They were formed on 28 May 2004 by supporters of Telford United after it became clear that the club would cease to exist. Bernard McNally was installed as the manager as the team embarked on their first ever season. The club's colours are black and white.

Background

AFC Telford United are a phoenix club formed from the ashes of Telford United in 2004. Late into the 2003-04 season, the Telford United chairman and 100% shareholder Andrew John Shaw's business empire collapsed and all funding for United disappeared, forcing the club he had attempted to bankroll into the Football League into administration.

The club's supporters rallied and raised around £50,000 in two months, however with crippling debts owed to various creditors amounting to over £4million there was little hope for the club and the old Telford United were forced into liquidation on 27 May 2004.

On the same day that the proposed liquidation was announced, the supporters trust (Telford United Supporters Ltd) created and became the sole owners of a new football club - AFC Telford United. The new club's motto numquam obliviscere means never forget. In the close season, manager Bernard McNally was appointed and a new squad assembled, the ground lease and assets were secured and the new club was placed in the Northern Premier League Division One by the FA.

This club is amazing.

Performance

In their first season, the club began with indifferent form, with a lack of consistency leaving them in mid-table and out of both the FA Cup and FA Trophy. However, following a 1-0 away defeat at Willenhall Town on December 30 2004, the side never lost another league game all season, challenging for the title before eventually finishing third place, three points behind the champions North Ferriby United. In the subsequent playoffs, they defeated Eastwood Town 1-0 before defeating Kendal Town 2-1 in the final to clinch promotion. The final was attended by 4,215 people, a record in that league.

Midway through their second season, Telford found themselves wallowing in second from bottom position of the table. Under much supporter unrest, McNally was removed as manager, with Sean Parrish taking over the duties as caretaker. Results improved immediately, and the side were unbeaten under Parrish's guidance.

On Thursday 16 February, the new management team was announced: Rob Smith assisted by Larry Chambers. The pair had been managing Willenhall Town. The team's results have since improved dramatically and after an unbeaten run after the installation of the new management duo, they finished the season in 10th place.

After a frenzied summer of transfer activity during which virtually the entire squad was renovated, the club entered its third season in much better shape to take the Unibond Premier division and mount a serious challenge for the title. After enjoying the club's most successful start to a season, and the most successful start of any Telford side in history, AFC Telford United topped the Unibond Premier League table after 15 games whilst racking up the best goal difference of any senior team in the British Isles. After an impressive start and 4 points against 2nd placed local rivals Hednesford Town form began to slip, and a 2-1 home defeat to fellow challengers Burscough on the final game of the season, in front of a record crowd of 5710, left the club finishing third in the table. A 2-0 home win over Marine in the semi final was followed by a 3-1 away win at Witton Albion to give the club its second promotion in three years.

During the 2007-08 season Telford acquitted themselves well and finished second in the Conference North, qualifying for the playoffs against Barrow in a two legged semi final. The semi-final was lost 0-4 on aggregate, with both games finishing 0-2.

The New Bucks Head

AFC Telford United's stadium is called the New Bucks Head. Construction of the stadium commenced in 2000, replacing the Bucks Head ground which had been home to Wellington Town and later Telford United for over a century, which was in much need of renovation. In between the old ground closing and new one opening, Telford United played with only two terraces in operation, with a small temporary stand situated on what is now the East Terrace and portable cabins in the car park were used for changing rooms. The stadium, which can hold up to 6,300 supporters was completed in 2003 and is the 111th largest football ground in England.

Rivals

AFC Telford United's local rivals are nearby Shropshire neighbours Shrewsbury Town, while the teams have rarely competed in the league the Shropshire Senior Cup final is often contended between the sides. But in the one season (2003-2004) that they competed in the same league Telford United came out on top drawing 0-0 at the Gay Meadow & winning 1-0 at The New Bucks Head in the league. And then 1-1 away & then winning 2-1 at home in the quarter final replay of the FA Trophy.

While in the Northern Premier League local derbies were contended with Willenhall Town, Leek Town, Hednesford Town and Witton Albion, the latter of whom The Bucks defeated in the playoff final of 2006/07 season 3-1.

Since the return the Conference league system AFC Telford United have been reunited with former sparring partners, including Tamworth, Stafford and Kettering.

Potential

Telford is the 39th largest city or town in England in terms of population, this gives AFC Telford United a potential fan base of 138,241 people in the immediate area. Towns such as Wigan, Reading and Blackburn have been able to sustain a Premier League team with similar catchment profile.

The town is also earmarked for further expansion over the next 10 years with the population expected to increase to 250,000. This population expansion would place AFC Telford United in the top 10 for potential local fanbases in England.

Current squad

Management and Coaching Staff

  • Manager:
    • Rob Smith
  • Assistant Manager:
    • Larry Chambers
  • Player Coach:
    • Steve Wynn
  • Physio:
    • Ruddy Farquharson
    • Brin May
  • Club Physician:
    • Dr Nick Tindall
  • Medical Practitioner:
    • Simon Hester

Club Records

All of the below records for AFC Telford United since reforming in 2004.

  • Record Home Win: 6-1 vs Leigh RMI 19/01/2008
  • Record Away Win: 7-0 vs Runcorn FC Halton 17/04/2006.
  • Record Home Defeat: 5-1 vs Southport FC 22/03/2008
  • Record Away Defeat: 5-1 vs Shrewsbury Town 27/07/2004 (Shropshire Senior Cup Final 2004)
  • Record Home Crowd: 5710 vs Burscough FC 28/04/2007
  • Record Away Crowd: 3005 vs Hednesford Town, 01/01/2007
  • Unbeaten Run 37 games, 21/1/2006 to 9/12/2006
  • Best League Finish: 2nd/22 - [Conference_North|Blue Square Conference North] 2007/08.
  • Best FA Cup Performance: 3rd Qualifying Round - Away vs Matlock Town F.C. (1-3)
  • Best FA Trophy Performance: 1st Round - Home vs Blyth Spartans 15/12/2007 (1-2)
  • Best Shropshire Senior Cup Performance: Final - 3 Times,
    • Best result: Home vs Shrewsbury Town, 25/07/2006, (1-1 - Shrewsbury Win 3-1 on penalties)
  • Best Unibond Challenge Cup Performance: 3rd Round - Home vs Witton Albion, 07/01/2006 (0-1)
  • Best Unibond Chairman's Cup Performance: Semi-Final - Home vs Kidsgrove Athletic, 05/03/2005 (1-3 AET)
  • Best Setanta Shield Performance: 3rd Round - Away vs Nuneaton Borough, 04/12/2007 (2-4 AET)
  • Top 5 Goal Scorers
    • 1st Kyle Perry 32 (2004-2006)
    • 2nd Lee Moore 28 (2006- )
    • 3rd Luke Reynolds 25(2005-2006), (2007-2008)
    • 4th Steve Foster 18 (2006-2007)
    • 5th Matt Lewis 15 (2007-)
  • Most Goals In One Season: Kyle Perry, 23 goals (2004-05)
  • Most Appearances: Stuart Brock, 132 Appearances. (July 2004-November 2007)
  • Longest Serving Player: Stuart Brock (July 2004-November 2007)
  • Record Signing (Inward): Lee Moore from Tamworth on 08/12/06 for a fee of £5000.
  • Record Signing (Outward): Duane Courtney to Burnley on 31/08/05 for a fee of about £33,000 along with a sell-on clause.
  • Promotion to Conference North: 2007; After beating Witton Albion in the play-offs 3-1

See also

External links

Official websites

Unofficial websites

References

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