Football Strategy

A 10-year Development Plan for Football in Honeybourne (2013 to 2023)

For many years Doug Rushton has pursued his vision of having a good football pitch available within the village. He has seen progress

from farmers’ fields to The Leys, and has fully supported the capability of the new village recreation field to support competitive football.

Also, for many years the Benfield family have enthusiastically run football teams, culminating in 2013 with the pinnacle of winning

Division One and also winning the Brotherton Cup.

Nobody is getting any younger, and we are now reaching the point where a new generation need to pick up the ball from these stalwarts.

The 2013 village questionnaire highlighted that 15.1% of respondents are currently participating in football.

In the short tenure of Sport Honeybourne, issues that have prevented progress in recent years have been addressed and appropriate action taken to ensure that the footballers have exactly what they need in terms of a playing pitch of optimum size on the Honeybourne recreation field. However, there is a real concern that poor drainage on this stony clay soil could affect matches during a wet winter. This issue needs to be addressed urgently by VISA Ltd (lease-holders of this field). (These issues were not addressed effectively to satisfy Honeybourne Gate FC, and so they decided to play their games at the Bretforton Sports Field from September 2013).

There is also an urgent need to provide changing rooms on the field. This is absolutely essential if competitive football is to continue in Honeybourne.

The Football Development Group have identified a clear strategy that could differentiate Honeybourne Football from other local providers. Recognising that it is unlikely that we can reasonably expect to attract existing Honeybourne players from other teams/friends/facilities it is, therefore, recommended that a 10-year Development Plan should be implemented immediately.

There is a need to start with under 7’s football so that the village encourages groups of local children to play regularly before they need to travel outside the village to join another team. By nurturing this first generation over a ten-year period, it is expected that a good proportion will stay within the village, supporting other youngsters coming through behind them. After 10 years these players will be able to join the seniors football teams.

It is now recognised that many players, who are unable to get into a team, enjoy playing at a lower level are obliged to play elsewhere. The recent Brian Selby match highlighted this latent potential, and so it is recommended that a “B” team should be formed as soon as possible.

Additionally, it is recognised that we can, over time, bring junior footballers to Honeybourne if we have an all-weather junior pitch because there are too few junior pitches in the area.

If we can develop this football strategy within our village, it will be possible for all age-groups to play competitive football within one-mile of home.

This strategy has been agreed by the Football Development Group and needs to progress urgently if we are to encourage enthusiastic support within the village.

Your views are very important and will be welcomed in the development and delivery of this programme.

Please contact: [email protected] with any thoughts or offers of assistance.