Harworth Colliery is a Club situated in Doncaster, with a range of teams associated from youth though to adult football. The Club were successful with their Football Foundation 'Retain the Game' application and received funds to support adult football within the club. We caught up with Club Chairman Jonathan Wilson to find out how they were getting on.
“As a club we just try and accommodate football for as many people as possible, our junior section has grown from just a few teams 3-4 year ago to now 9 including 2 girls teams, the wildcats scheme is doing well so possibly another team next season.”
Receiving ‘Retain the Game’ Funding grant in 2018
Harworth Colliery was successful in their application for the ‘Retain the Game’ funding last year and used the funds to support both the existing adult teams and create a new U18’s team.
“We received funding to get an Under 18's off the ground as we have never had one at our club, were are noticing more and more that we are losing Players aged 16-18 and so introduced the new age group to help bridge the gap between finishing with the Juniors and going into the seniors.”
The creation of the team has been a great success, which is now providing young players with a positive first introduction in to the adult set up, preparing them for open age football.
“This has been successful for us as we have finished the 1st season and brought new players into the club who necessarily wouldn't have come without the U18's, also we have had players progress from this age group into the U21's giving them an even better standard of Football.”
Transitioning pathways from youth to adult football
Harworth Colliery plan to continue the great work they have been doing, create more pathways into the game and attract and retain new players.
“Now we have this in place it is vital that we keep it going as we feel we would lose players if we didn't have this pathway into the Club and the senior side, times are changing and as a club we must always look to move things forward and identify where we need to strengthen else we will lose players from the game altogether.”
“We need to get more local players through to the seniors which as were not the biggest area is difficult and so trying to promote as best we can with the 18’s and 21’s to get good young players through into the seniors, it will take time but it’s vital that we keep these teams in place and potentially once the juniors come of age we introduce a development side on a Saturday to compliment the 1sts and the reserves.”
The work Harworth Colliery has done is needed to support the recruitment and retention of players throughout all age groups.
If you are part of a club in a similar position and wish to share your story or a club aiming to develop and progress further please contact Sheffield FA for support and guidance on what help is available.