Football round-up: Club aims to step up with launch of fundraising drive
By Stuart Laundy - Senior Reporter
A FUNDRAISING campaign is to be launched to help a town football team get into the national league system.
Barnard Castle FC (formerly Bowes FC) currently compete in the Crook and District League on a Saturday afternoon.
However, club officials aim to move up and join the first division of the Wearside Senior League – which is step seven of the national league system. By comparison, the Northern League first division, home to West Auckland Town FC, is step five.
To make the move, Barnard Castle FC must have facilities to match.
Improvements to the playing surface at the Tensfield ground have been completed, as has a renovation of the changing facilities.
The club plans more work on the changing rooms and the development of a car park within the ground to take players’ cars off surrounding residential streets.
Club secretary Geoff Thwaites said: “We’ve always believed that Barnard Castle and the surrounding areas should have a male adult football team competing at step seven.
“It is a well respected standard of football which our young players can aspire to. As a community we have continually produced football players who can at least compete at that level.
“However, we have been unable to provide that standard of football because of the inadequate facilities we have in Barnard Castle, forcing more ambitious young adult players to play football at clubs and communities which do have the facilities needed to compete at step seven or above.
“We aim to change that and ensure that young adult players can stay in our community to play and enjoy their football.”
To fund the further improvements needed, the club aims to raise £30,000 through grant funding applications and other activities.
Mr Thwaites said: “We are going to launch a fundraising campaign in the near future which we hope the local community will really get behind.
“If we can generate the funding needed to get the facilities in place then they will benefit members of the junior and adult teams for generations to come.
“The club can and will maintain the facilities, we just need some financial help to get them in place.
“I am extremely confident this community will help though, it's full of good people who want good facilities and services for their families and neighbours.”
Crook and District League
GLAXO Rangers came off second best against early pace-setters Willington WMC on Saturday.
Willington put five past their Barney hosts and have already scored 12 times in their opening two fixtures.
There were plenty of goals in the second division where Ferryhill and Heighington drew 5-5; Newton Aycliffe beat Crook Town 5-3 and Wolsingham won 5-4 at Stanley Town.
Wear Valley Sunday League
THE league is down to just one division of eight teams for this season.
It was a good start for Toft Hill Three Tuns, who won 2-1 away at Newton Aycliffe Roundhouse thanks to goals from Chris Murphy and Andrew Boyes.
Coundon WMC and Gainford Cross Keys were locked at 1-1 when, on 60 minutes, the game was abandoned due to a nasty injury to Gainford skipper Adam Sams, who suffered a double leg fracture.
He was taken to hospital and was due to undergo an operation this week.
In the other games, West Auckland Sports Bar put ten past Willington Black Horse without reply and Leeholme WMC won 2-1 at Middlestone Moor.
Darlington Sunday Morning Invitation League
STAINDROP Wheatsheaf claimed dale bragging rights when they returned from their trip to Middleton-in-Teesdale with the points after a closely fought 3-2 win.
On target for Staindrop were Ty Morgan, Ollie Ross and Tom Wood.