Bowes FC in plea for new players
By Stuart Laundy - Senior Reporter
ONE of the dale’s football teams has launched a recruitment drive for new players.
Bowes FC, which is based at the Tens Field ground, in Barnard Castle, is hoping to sign up some younger players for the start of next season’s Crook and District Saturday afternoon league.
It comes after the club’s Sunday morning team resigned from the Wear Valley League after struggling to field a team in the season just ended.
Bowes FC secretary Geoff Thwaites said anyone aged 16 and older and available on Saturdays – and some for some midweek fixtures, usually at end of the season – would be welcome along.
The club relocated to Tens Field from Shaw Bank two season ago, since when a number of improvements have been carried out to both the playing surface, surrounds and the changing facilities.
“The club is well run, but we can’t keep relying on the older players,” said Mr Thwaites.
“We need some younger players in. Goalkeepers would be especially welcome.”
Off the field, the club is working with Teesdale Action Partnership to secure a grant to play for the ongoing refurbishment of the changing rooms, including exterior cladding to the building, improvements to the viewing area and decking to the front.
Future plans include shutters for the windows, new gates for the ground and dug-outs for the pitch.
Anyone interested in playing can contact Mr Thwaites on 07886 897652.
Bowes are one of three dale sides to play in the Crook and District League, alongside fellow Barney team Glaxo Rangers and Evenwood Town.
The Sunday side’s resignation from the league comes just two seasons after the then Barnard Castle FC Sunday morning team merged with Bowes to form one club.
Despite their struggles this season Bowes FC's Sunday team finished a creditable fifth in the first division, winning eight and drawing two of their 18 games.
As the result of resignations, officials at the Sunday morning league have been forced to restructure the divisions.
The make-up has not yet been finalised, however, secretary John Morton confirmed last season’s second division champions Toft Hill Three Tuns are promoted, along with Staindrop, who finished third, and fifth placed Gainford Cross Keys.
Success on the field for Toft Hill and Gainford has been recognised in the end of season awards.
Toft Hill FC will receive a new football strip after being judged team of the year based on performances and fair play, with the club receiving the fewest cautions and fines.
Gainford striker Craig Edwards capped a fine first season with the club by receiving the award for top scorer in the second division with 30 league goals, while midfielder Ben Moore's consistently good performances earned him the award for most man-of-the-match accolades.
Whistle blowers Brian Morris and David Hall are joint referees of the year.
Meanwhile, the league wishes to extend best wishes to its chairman John Glasper, who is recovering from a heart attack. He is making good progress after a subsequent operation.