Stonegate IT may hold partnerships with some of the world’s biggest service providers, but we remain humble when it comes to where our business began and the local community.
As a Kent-based business, we are passionate about local companies, not just from a professional angle, but a social one too. Managing Director – Simon Mohr, is a huge fan of grass roots football and did not hesitate to help out when approached by our Financial Controller – Laura Butcher, for a donation towards kit for local Ashford League U11’s team Marsh Youth FC.
Marsh Youth FC
Marsh Youth FC was established in December 2015 and they train at their home ground – The Rype, Manor Road, Lydd, located on the south-east tip of Kent. The club grew rapidly during the spring of 2016, mainly from siblings of existing members wanting to play football.
Last season the club had five teams play league football, U8s, U10s, U12s and a mixed age u15s/16s, all of which were entered in the Ashford and District Youth League, Ashford being home to Stonegate’s HQ.
The under 10s (now u11s) team is managed by Neil Buckley and includes number 10 player Jack Butcher, Laura’s son.
Last season the team was sponsored by local business Shepway Tutoring, but are yet to confirm a kit sponsor for next season.
Lisa Prince, Club Chairman, League/FA Secretary and Manager of the U13s team explained how well things had been going:
“The u11s team have come so far since last season. They progress this season from playing 7 aside to 9 aside football on a bigger pitch. Training is going great with the new players learning all of the time and most of all enjoying football with friends”.
The Awards Night
On Saturday 22nd July, Marsh Youth FC held their first ever football awards night and following our donation, Stonegate were invited along to attend.
The awards night was an opportunity for the club to celebrate their successes and enjoy their first presentation evening.
Awards were given for excellent football played through league games and tournaments and great sporting behaviour. These were presented by Lydd town’s Mayor and Mayoress.
During the evening, two female players from the club were also recognised, each winning a Shepway Sports Trust Young Community Volunteer of the Year award.
Codie, Neil’s daughter is 15 years old and helps massively on training and match days, setting pitches up and providing general assistance to the club.
Lisa’s own daughter, Rosie won the same award in 2016. 14-year-old Rosie plays in the u15s boys’ team and has completed an FA Junior Leader Course, enabling her to coach younger children.
To show gratitude for Stonegate’s donation of kit money and wine for the evening’s raffle – Laura got the coaches, players and parents to take part in a dance off, led by the team Coach Neil…and boy did they dance for it!
“The dance off made the night one to remember, the whole club got involved and it turned into an amazing evening, with the Mayor, parents and children really getting into the swing. Stonegate’s kind donation was very much appreciated by everyone, especially u11s as this will help buy some kits for our newer members of the team”.
A fabulous time was had by all!
What’s Next for Marsh FC?
As players become old enough, the club plans to offer young players coaching sessions.
With help from the Football Foundation, they also have plans to encourage the local youth off the streets and onto playing fields, a cause they feel very passionate about.
The 2017/18 season will see Lisa’s partner Lee run the U16s and U21s teams with the aim of bridging the gap from youth to adult grassroots football.
A lot of voluntary time and effort goes into the club by Lisa, Lee and Neil and they rely on the help of local businesses and sponsors to enable the children of Lydd to continue achieving positive milestones both on and off the pitch.
Good luck to all Marsh Youth FC teams for the upcoming season!