Story: Danny Hall
Burngreave and Canklow Crusaders started the year in the top half of the table, a good effort considering the step up from Under 18’s to a men’s league.
The Crusaders finished 2nd in their U18 league but doubts were raised as to whether the team would be able to carry on into the adult league.As team manager Steve Richardson told the Messenger, his position was clear. “I was always there as long as the lads wanted it”, said Steve, “They knew what they were up against but wanted to give it a go.”
The Crusaders recieve little sponsorship and funding, something that Steve reckons is a help rather than a hindrance. “Mostly it's the lads that pay their own way – it gives them a strong sense of identity and responsibility,” said Steve.
They have identified a site for a home pitch at Parkwood, and are currently in discussions to try and secure funding. “We'll have to lobby hard at the end of the season to put an adult pitch on there.”
Matters on the pitch however have gone better for the club so far.
“The highlight of the season was a game in which we came up against a much wiser and experienced team. A few of our lads grew up that day, it was a learning curve. That game may have just made our season.”
A season that Steve admits has been a bittersweet one.
“We've struggled to maintain a regular attendance as a few lads have moved on, but next year hopefully Canklow and Burngreave will run separately. Two areas are going to flourish, so this season is going to be a good one.”