Littleport has had a football club since 1908 – Littleport Town.
The club is now is looking for more members to continue the village’s proud association with the beautiful game
“When you see them coming off the pitch with a smile on their faces, you feel so elated – it’s the best feeling in the world,” says Chris Slatter who has been coaching his team for Littleport Town Football Club for more than eight years. Now playing in the under-14s leagues, he has seen them all the way from academy age, the under-7s.
Last year, the team won their league, a proud moment for Chris, assistant coach Mark Prior, and the team. They also made it to the semi-final in one of the cup rounds. “That was a brilliant season,” Chris says.
“But to be honest, just offering them the opportunity to learn and enjoy playing football is just as big a buzz for me.”
Littleport Town has been the village’s football club for more than 100 years. It began in 1908, and currently has three teams in the Colts division. As well as the under-14s, there is the under-9s team managed by Carl Murfett and the under- 15s managed by Chris Kelly and Tony Ure. There is also an adult team. Littleport Town Colts teams play locally on the pitches by the brilliant new leisure centre, although sometimes winter training takes place at the superb facilities at King’s School in Ely.
The club is looking for players and coaches to help set up an academy for younger players in the new season (2020-2021).
They offer a warm welcome and support to anyone interested in either this or establishing teams for other age groups.
“There’s lots of help out there, both from the FA, the club and other managers,” says Carl. He set up his team two years ago when his son moved out of the academy group – and loves it. “I really enjoy seeing the kids progress. Yes, it is a commitment of time and energy, but it is totally worth it.”
Coaches need to hold a 1st4sport Level 1 Award in Coaching Football from the FA, which gives a basic introduction to the concepts of planning, organising and delivering safe coaching sessions. The club will pay for this and support people during the course. A team can have as many assistants as they like, provided they are DBS checked and receive safe-guarding training, which again the club is happy to pay for – Chris said one team they played this winter even had its own physio!
The club will also fund a referee course for anyone over the age of 16 who fancies getting involved, but cannot commit to a weekly coaching session.
“You’re not on your own, we’re always more than happy to help each other out, offer support and mark out each other’s pitches, and so on,” says Mark.
Both boys and girls are welcome to join the club – Chris currently has a mixed team – because under FA rules boys and girls can play together until they are 18. “It’s great the rules changed because it offers a level-playing field for girls too – and in my experience, they have a lot to teach the boys!” Chris says. “To see the achievements all the team make on and off the field and to know I have helped in some way towards that is just brilliant. Nothing can beat it – although winning the league last year was definitely up there too!”
If you want to know any more about setting up a team, or if you are interested in joining the club, please get in touch at email@example.com