Common in crisis

Colden Common cup winners

Colden Common cup winners

First published in Sport Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Non-league football reporter

ONE of Hampshire’s oldest football clubs, Colden Common, are in crisis.

The club, first established in 1898 and re-formed in 1956, have lost their entire first-team squad with the new Hampshire Premier League season just days away.

The Commoners have reluctantly pulled out of the Wyvern Combination League and will field their reserve side in the HPL, kicking off away at Hamble Club next Tuesday (August 5, 6.30pm).

To cap it all, they have been advised that they can no longer play HPL fixtures at their Main Road home because it fails to meet FA ground grading requirements.

They will now play some 200 yards along the road at the Lottery-funded facility at Boyes Lane.

Common have a proud history, having won six league titles since the 1990s, including back- to-back HPL crowns in 2009 and 2010. Their most famous ‘son’ is England international Steve Guppy, pictured below, who went on to play for Wycombe Wanderers, Leicester City and Celtic.

Distraught chairman Dave Hadfield admits he has never felt so low having been connected with the club on and off for 38 years.

He cites the change of ground, combined with the closure of The Black Horse pub opposite Main Road, as the major reasons behind the mass exodus of players, the bulk of whom have gone to AFC Stoneham, Alresford Town or Winchester Castle.

He explained: “Mick King, the landlord of The Black Horse, our home for many years, died about a month ago. He’s an ex-chairman of the club and someone who has always been there.

“Before his death, Mick had already taken the decision to close The Black Horse and it no longer exists as a public house.

“On top of that, the FA have deemed that Main Road can no longer be used for HPL fixtures.

It’s nothing to do with the pitch, the changing rooms are not big enough and teams don’t have separate shower facilities.

“Our players always enjoyed playing at Main Road and switching the pitch has done nothing to help us.”

To maintain consistency, reserve team boss Curtis Osborne will continue to run the side in the HPL, supported by under-18 manager Dan Martin.

Dave Wood, last term’s manager, and his right-hand man Steve Blackburn will stay involved with the club but not as first-team managers.

“We’ve still got vets, under- 16s and under-18s, but we’ll be fielding just one senior side this season and I must admit I’m concerned about the quality and numbers we’ve got available to compete in the HPL Premier,”

said Hadfield.

“No matter what happens now it’s going to be a struggle, but I’ve got to believe that it’s peaks and troughs and we’ll bounce back.”

Common urgently need new players to take on the challenge of HPL football. The club train Tuesdays and Thursdays at Main Road (7-8.30pm).

Contact numbers for club officials are available on the club’s website: http://coldencommonfc.-squares-pace.com/

Comments (3)

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1:49pm Wed 30 Jul 14

Bungle Bonce says...

Well done to the FA on another superb decision! Local football has been ruined by these people and in particular the Hants League, which is now a diluted version of the original competition that was so disgracefully pulled apart in 2004. Yes by all means have certain standards to play at this level but what is the point in having barriers, hard standing etc for barely 20 spectators!! Since they brought in all these requirements we have lost many long running and respected village clubs. Let's hope Colden Common recover and don't join that list!!
Well done to the FA on another superb decision! Local football has been ruined by these people and in particular the Hants League, which is now a diluted version of the original competition that was so disgracefully pulled apart in 2004. Yes by all means have certain standards to play at this level but what is the point in having barriers, hard standing etc for barely 20 spectators!! Since they brought in all these requirements we have lost many long running and respected village clubs. Let's hope Colden Common recover and don't join that list!! Bungle Bonce
  • Score: 1

5:36pm Wed 30 Jul 14

Zexagon says...

Steve guppy still turns out for their vets team, and won man of the match in one of the vets finals after only touching the ball three times
Steve guppy still turns out for their vets team, and won man of the match in one of the vets finals after only touching the ball three times Zexagon
  • Score: 0

1:48pm Thu 31 Jul 14

CarlyKin says...

Such a shame to see another grassroots club having difficulties. I really hope they pull through. More funds need to be passed down to grassroots football!!! Im not usually one to post links on here but I feel this is really appropriate. Please sign this e-petition which is trying to get to 100,000 signatures in order for a debate to take place in Parliament regarding the Premier League passing a percentage of their broadcasting fees down to grassroots football to assist with funding "Save our Grassroots Football" http://epetitions.di
rect.gov.uk/petition
s/66835. This is not only for adult football but youth football too
Such a shame to see another grassroots club having difficulties. I really hope they pull through. More funds need to be passed down to grassroots football!!! Im not usually one to post links on here but I feel this is really appropriate. Please sign this e-petition which is trying to get to 100,000 signatures in order for a debate to take place in Parliament regarding the Premier League passing a percentage of their broadcasting fees down to grassroots football to assist with funding "Save our Grassroots Football" http://epetitions.di rect.gov.uk/petition s/66835. This is not only for adult football but youth football too CarlyKin
  • Score: 1

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