A wonderful example of a local team, recruited mainly from this area (but with a few blow-ins from Worksop and Rotherham…) run entirely by volunteers and aided by consistent and well supported fundraising from the parents, friends and volunteers.
When Garfield was looking around for a team for his 11 year old son nearly ten years ago, he realised two things – one that children who’d had previous experience of football were the most advanced and two, that the nearest teams to Burngreave were at Parson Cross, High Green or Red Rose at Ecclesfield…. So, what to do? Answer – create a local team with Andy Kiwomya.
Nowadays, the established Earl Marshall under 12s team plays at Hinde House, trains at Concord and has a good core of 15 players. The under 7s team, playing at Petre Street has a few more players. And this year, the club have established an under 6s team – just for training purposes – which will help recruit more for the under 7s next season.
The parents are really impressed with “a real sense of community which encourages teamwork, co-operation and commitment. The managers provide really positive role models for the children and encourage them to think about how to use their time constructively.” Which other football teams would have a series of regular celebrations and presentation evenings to mark Easter as well as Eid?
In contrast to some of the wilder enthusiasms that amateur football sometimes represents these days, the motto of Earl Marshall is
Enjoy, Encourage, Develop and Socialise
Underpinned by this, and a massive commitment from the managers of both teams – (under 7s – Damien, Richard, Mick, Mark and Tony; and the under 12s – Cecil, Mick, Mark, Lynn and Garfield) – this local team thoroughly deserves the celebration of this honour. But rather than the plaudits coming from the parents or the Area Panel, this last year has seen some of the old under 12s team return to the club and ask to become trainers for the young children themselves – and the result is teenagers starting to do their own Level 1 coaching qualification…