Hattersley Football Club have announced ambitious plans to expand the club in the forthcoming months.
As part of the proposals, the club want to create a girls’ team across a number of ages, develop a soccer school for players under the age of eight, and even build their own 4g facilities.
According to head coach Adam Counsell, the proposals are not only exciting but reflect the ambition of the club in general. Speaking to Reporter Sport, Adam, who was appointed as Hattersley’s head coach in January, said: “I’ve been coaching the under 14’s this season, but I’ve now taken on the role as head coach.
“Along with Gareth Howell, I oversee all the training methods and assist with all the other coaches from the under 8’s all the way through to the under 17’s.
“I’m in my third season now in terms of coaching, but the role of head coach is a new concept that we introduced in January, and it’s part of the long term plan of taking the club forward.”
Adam is hoping that the proposed changes will come into effect by July or August. He added: “We’re looking to introduce a soccer school which will cater for those under the age of eight and is ideal for the younger kids to get involved, and we’re also looking to try and introduce girls’ teams at various ages.
“We basically want to make sure that there is one team for every age group, but ideally two.”
Although the club enjoy training from Monday to Thursday at the ken Ward Sports Centre in Hattersley, developing their own 4g facility would help foster a greater sense of identity, while at the same time making the club more attractive to the local community. Adam said: “It’s just an idea at the moment, but the club are in discussions with the Ken Ward Centre and the local council, as well as architects and planners.
“We’re a junior football club with big ambitions – they don’t happen overnight but speaking to the chairman and the relevant people higher up the board, they’ve all spoken about a 3-5 year plan.
“The early stages of those plans have already come into place with new teams and head coaches, so it all promises a bright future.”
Hattersley have made huge strides in recent years to enhance the club’s image, and one of the people responsible for this change is club chairman, Chris Bird.
According to Adam, Chris adopted the role just under three years ago and has since moved the club in the right direction.“Chris classes himself as a Hattersley lad, so he’s always been involved and got nephews that play for the club” said Adam.
“He got involved with Hattersley around three years ago as the chairman and set out a plan to improve the club, and so far the boxes that have been able to be ticked, have been ticked.”
As the CEO of Sports Tours International, Chris was partly responsible for recreating the iconic Tour of Tameside running event, which returns to the borough for a third consecutive year in June.
Having competed in last year’s Tour, Adam, in no small part to Chris, is set to lace his trainers once again: “I’m sure Chris will drag me into it, along with a few of the other coaches – it’s probably part and parcel of letting us coach at the club” said Adam.
“I enjoyed it last year and very much look forward to doing it again.”
If previous years are anything to go by, the end of season awards ceremony could well produce a famous face.
Due to Chris’s previous involvement with Manchester City, no other than former England and City midfielder Stuart Pearce was on hand to present last year’s awards.
Looking ahead to this year’s ceremony, Adam said: “We all come together for the presentation night to celebrate the hard work of the players, volunteers and coaches, and I think Chris likes to keep the special guest under wraps in order to surprise us on the night.
“There has always been an ex-footballer at the three previous presentations I’ve been to – unfortunately for me it’s always been a blue – but Chris, with his Manchester City connections, always brings someone down and it goes down a storm.
“It turns a good night into a great night.”
Those wishing to join the club for the 2017/2018 season are urged to call Adam on the following number: 07725859131
Alternatively, Gareth Howell can be contacted on the following number: 07983622485
Those wishing to find out more about Hattersley can do so on the following website: www.hattersleyfootballclub.co.uk