Wessex Premier dream for Danny and QK

Danny Barker

Danny Barker

First published in Sport Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Sports Reporter

QK Southampton are aiming to emulate the rise of some of the county’s most successful non-League teams.

The Puma Engineering Hampshire Premier Division outfit, who finished 15th last term, are planning development on and off the field, with plans to reach the Sydenhams Premier Division within five years.

They are eyeing a rise similar to the likes of FA Vase winners Sholing, Conference Premier new boys Eastleigh and Southern League side AFC Totton, according to secretary Don Campbell, who is working alongside other club officials, including new chairman Wayne Snelgrove, to put their dreams into reality.

With plans to develop their site on Redbridge Lane and, on field, start to nurture youngsters from under-8s all the way to the first team, QK are certainly ambitious.

That ambition was the main draw for manager Danny Barker, who came in at the end of the season after resigning his post at relegated Wessex Premier side Romsey Town.

“This club has a lot of potential, the vision was a huge selling point in becoming manager, it is very exciting,” the former Colden Common manager said.

“The aim is to bring through the club’s youth to the first team. I can’t stress enough the importance we’re placing on youth and developing local youngsters.

“The side might not be ready for Wessex football yet, but I’m looking forward to starting the season with this highly motivated young side and seeing where it takes us.

“QK have a clean slate, we’re in a great location and the plans for the ground means this club is an exciting place to be.”

QK stands for Queens Keep and was the name of the building where the founders of the club in 1972 worked at for the Southampton Inland Revenue.

Two seasons ago they suffered a mass exodus of players and had to start again.

It is Barker’s job to ring in the beginning of a new era for the club and has brought in Mark Sainsbury from Stoneham’s under-18 set-up as his assistant and Ryan Brag, who he worked alongside at Colden, as an assistant and coach.

Planning applications for a new clubhouse are in the pipeline, which will go hand in hand with other plans, including a car park and fencing, which will surround the ground.

That in turn will, they hope, lead to promotion up the divisions.

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