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Curzon Embark On New Era
Wednesday 1st June 2016 @ 11:19 by Mark Phillip
Ashton Football Sports

Despite being one of the smaller clubs in the National League North, Curzon Ashton have massive ambitions.

The Nash are about to embark on a five-year mission. Destination: Football League.

Within that period, the club also want to see the women’s first team competing in the Super League.

If successful in their quest, the ladies can look forward to clashes against juggernauts such as Liverpool, Manchester City and Arsenal.

Having been ranked as the second lowest team in Tameside four years ago, some may argue that the club are being overambitious.

However, according to CEO Natalie Atkinson, the optimistic approach is a shared vision between the board of directors, management team and fans alike.

Detailing the reasons behind her recruitment, Natalie told Reporter Sport: “I was previously a director of the club for six or seven months.

“The board of directors had a discussion about taking the club forward, and they felt employing a full-time CEO was the next step to take.

“We are – and want to be – the best club in Tameside for everything we do.

“I’ve got a huge task on my hands, but an exciting one.”

Equipped with a glittering CV, Natalie fits the mould perfectly. She added: “Everything we’re doing on the pitch is phenomenal.

“We have a huge junior section and a fantastic development team, both of which are really taking strides to move the club forward.”

Highlighting her previous involvement in football, Natalie continued: “I was previously employed by the Manchester FA as the Football Development Manager.

“It was a fantastic organisation, allowing me to work with the FA nationally.

“I had a lot of success with funding applications and the development of artificial pitches across Greater Manchester.

“It proved to be a really great grounding for me.”

Questioned on how the club wish to achieve Football League status, Natalie said: “Our vision for the first team in five years’ time is to become a Football League club, but before we do that, we need to build the infrastructure within the club.

“We’re looking to make the club professional, efficient and financially sustainable.

“Everything we’re doing at the moment is fantastic, but we have to build on that.”

In order to achieve these goals, the club are looking to swell their fan base, as well as seeking new investment through means of sponsorship.

However, in doing so, Curzon wish to preserve their identity as a ‘family-orientated, forward thinking club’. Natalie continued: “The camaraderie and family atmosphere at the club is fantastic, and our spectators group have worked wonders for raising the profile of the club.

“We also have a fantastic media following through them, but it needs to get bigger.

“I sent a letter to the supporters’ group a few weeks ago, thanking them for their support in everything we do.

“We want to be the biggest club in Tameside with the biggest following.”

While Curzon only attracted an average attendance of 407 last season, crowds are expected to rise during the forthcoming campaign.

Due to recent promotions and relegations, the Tameside Stadium is set to be rocked by the arrivals of Salford City, Halifax Town and Altrincham next season.

Attendances are also set to be bolstered by early bird season ticket prices.

Those who take up the offer before the deal expires on 30 June can gain admission for the following:

Adults: £180
Concession: £90
Under 16’s: £10

Full time students are also being enticed to join the growing army of supporters with season tickets priced at £20.

And, as always, Curzon Juniors will gain admission to the Tameside Stadium free of charge.

Detailing the importance of the junior section, Natalie said : “When you join the club as a youngster, you’re provided with the same kit as the men and women, the same balls and the same standard of coaching.”

“We are one club, and I keep banging the drum about ‘we are Curzon Ashton’, but it’s a new era for us.”

While the players are enjoying a well-deserved rest, Natalie will be hard at work over summer.

As well as conducting the day-to-day running of the club, Natalie is primed for a very special occasion. She said: “When the season kicks off on August 6, we will be launching our new brand, as well as the conference and event suite.

“We have been asked by the FA to host the FA annual community day.

“I’m currently on the road where I’m meeting new people, which includes councillors, executive members and businesses.

“The aim is to invite them on the day and showcase what we do.

“It will be my opportunity to meet more people, so fingers crossed we’re handed a home tie against a big club like FC United.”

Curzon have recently announced the signings of midfielder Michael Potts and Jack Truelove.

Potts joins the Nash having previously played for York City, Guiseley, AFC Fylde, Stalybridge Celtic and Bradford Park Avenue.

Truelove returns to the Tameside stadium having spent time on-loan from Oldham last season.

Matty Warburton has left Curzon to join National League North side Salford City.

The club will be announcing arrivals and departures over the forthcoming days.

To keep up-to-date, follow them on Twitter: @curzonlive


Former Stalybridge Celtic midfielder/striker Paul Ennis has joined the club.

The 26-year-old lists Stockport County, Guiseley, Colwyn Bay and Hednesford amongst his previous clubs.