Slimbridge A.F.C.

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Slimbridge Association Football Club are an English football club representing the village of Slimbridge, near Dursley, Gloucestershire (although their ground is in nearby Cambridge). The first team currently play in the Southern League, the reserve team play in the Hellenic League Division Two West, and the Under 18 Youth team play in the Cheltenham Under18 Floodlit Youth League. The club is affiliated to the Gloucestershire County FA.

Slimbridge
Full nameSlimbridge Association Football Club
Nickname(s)Swans
Founded1902
GroundThornhill Park
Cambridge
Gloucestershire
Capacity1,500
ChairmanBarry Gay & Colin Gay
ManagerLee Driver-Dickerson
LeagueSouthern League Division One South
2020–21Southern League Division One South (season curtailed)

HistoryEdit

Slimbridge Football Club's history can be traced back to the 1899–1900 season when they played local football at various venues in and around the village, but as they do not appear to have played matches every season initially, the club officially dates its foundation to 1902.

In 1951 the club moved to their current ground at Wisloe Road after Evi Thornhill, a former player bequeathed the land to the club in his will. From then until the 1990s the club mainly competed in the Stroud and District League, except for a spell in the Gloucestershire Northern Senior League in the 1960s. In the late 1980s, after a period of severe financial difficulties had been overcome, the club were finally able to upgrade their facilities and step up to the Gloucestershire County League, where they finished runners-up in their very first season and were promoted to the Hellenic League Division One West.

The success continued with the Division One West title at the first attempt and with it promotion to the Premier Division, where three top-five finishes were achieved in the first three seasons, before clinching the Championship in 2006–07. This earned promotion to the Southern League, but on 10 July 2007, the club made the following announcement on their website:

It is with the utmost regret that that Slimbridge AFC announce their resignation from the BGB Business Football League Division One – Midland Division, with immediate effect.
The decision was reached at a Club Committee Meeting yesterday evening (9th July 2007). In his statement the Club Chairman, Mr John Mack, cited a serious lack of loyalty, integrity and commitment from some members of the Club and he truly felt let down by that. This unfolding situation has cast severe doubts as to the ability of the Club to compete seriously at Step Four level. It is the reason behind the decision to withdraw.
It was confirmed that the Club will continue its membership of the Gloucestershire Northern Senior League.

As a result, the first team took the reserves' place in the Gloucestershire Northern Senior League. They won the league at the first attempt, and were promoted to the Gloucestershire County League where the club maintained back to back promotions by winning promotion back to the Hellenic League.

The club re-established itself in the Hellenic League Premier Division, and with Leon Sterling and assistant Fred Ward at the helm on the pitch, the club achieved sixth place (2010–11 season) and fifth place (2011–12 season) finishes upon their return to the top flight of the Hellenic League. In 2013 they transferred to the Western League Premier Division.

After securing a 3rd-place finish in the Western League Premier Division at the end of the 2014-15 season, it was confirmed that the club had earned promotion to the Southern League.[1]

GroundEdit

The record attendance at Wisloe Road is 525 for a game against Shortwood United in 2003, although the usual average attendance is around 100. Slimbridge's second highest ever attendance was in a pre season friendly with Forest Green Rovers in August 2011.[2] It is situated not in Slimbridge but just over the A38 in nearby Cambridge. The ground also plays host to the home games of the ladies team at Forest Green Rovers.

On 26 July 2016 the ground's name was changed to Thornhill Park. The change in name was to honour former chairman Evi Thornhill who gave the land to the club.

HonoursEdit

  • Hellenic League Premier Division
    • Champions 2006–07
  • Gloucestershire Northern Senior League
    • Champions 2007–08
  • Gloucestershire County League
    • Champions 2008–09
  • Hellenic League West One
    • Champions 2009–10

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Slimbridge get promotion confirmed by FA after long wait". Gloucestershire Gazette. 18 May 2015. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  2. ^ "Interview with Slimbridge chairman John Mack and manager Leon Sterling". Gloucestershire Gazette. 11 August 2011. Retrieved 12 August 2011.

SourcesEdit

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 51°43′25.52″N 2°22′09.63″W / 51.7237556°N 2.3693417°W / 51.7237556; -2.3693417