Emley AFC confident promotion will be confirmed by FA

Emley AFC are expected to be informed that they will be playing in a higher division next season after making a strong case to be promoted under a restructure of the football pyramid by the FA.

Thursday, 13th May 2021, 8:30 am
Updated Thursday, 13th May 2021, 10:44 am
Emley, looking set for promotion. Picture: Mark Parsons

Following two largely successful seasons interrupted by the pandemic and the lockdowns the club has done enough to secure promotion on the points-per-game basis expected to decide which teams go up.

Emley AFC chairman Andrew Painten said: “Huge congratulations to our players, led by captain Jamie Price, as well as our management team of Richard Tracey, Steve Nicholson, Richard Batley and Tom Claisse on their achievement.”

“We wanted to win promotion the ‘normal’ way but nobody can take anything away from the lads – they have done more than enough over two seasons to secure the elevation. We will find the time to celebrate when we can in future.

“I’d like to pay tribute to our brilliant team of volunteers who continue to work tirelessly under the most difficult of circumstances. This achievement also belongs to every single one of them for their dedication and incredible support. Thank you.

“I also thank our sponsors for their backing – even more special during these tough times – but special mention to Andy Nicholson at Hortor, Andy Hobson at Fantastic Media, Rob Dixon at Wm Sykes plus many others for their unwavering support. And of course a huge thank you to our loyal supporters. So many near misses but, finally, we did it.”

Although Emley are now going through an application process to confirm promotion, given the team’s record on the field and the solid foundations off the pitch, the club believe this is a formality as is the rubber-stamping of the FA Council.

When the most recent of the lockdowns led to the NCE League being abandoned for the season Emley were in top spot in Division One with 26 points from 10 matches and with that record being taken into account they are in pole position to now be promoted to the Premier Division for the next campaign, expected to start in August.

An FA sub-committee met on Monday to approve which teams would be moving up with the decision set to be confirmed at the start of next week.

Emley, meanwhile, are looking to appoint a volunteer community officer to champion the club and help build and strengthen links with local grassroots clubs and other groups in the area.

The club is looking for someone with experience in a relevant field with their responsibilities to include organising events that bring young people and their families to the club.

This will include regular play on the pitch pre-match sessions, soccer schools, an annual junior tournament and opportunities for involvement of the club at local schools.

The community officer will also encourage other groups to utilise facilities at the football club and possibly attend matches involving local schools, other clubs and societies. To find out more about the role, email [email protected]

Emley have appointed Dominic Webster as manager of the club’s new under 18s team.

Trainee teacher Webster, 24, has been coaching at Deighton Juniors since he was just 16 and has also been involved with the open-age set-up as well as Huddersfield School Boys and CTA Select Academy.

He said: “This is great opportunity and I’m thrilled to be given it. As a club, Emley have a fantastic reputation locally and I can’t be more pleased to make this step up in my coaching career. I can’t wait to get stuck in.

“But it is also a great opportunity for talented local players to progress and I’m looking forward to giving those lads the opportunity.”

Academy manager Sam Sutton said: “It was a rigorous process that Dominic has come through. As well as interviewing our candidates, we also had them take a short training session to see them in action and working with young players. Both on the training field and in his interview, it was clear Dominic would fit in perfectly with our set-up.”

After the successful launch of the academy with an U23s side last year, the under 18s will be another key addition and will play in the FA Youth Cup. The club will look for the best talent from junior football, including players from club partners Yorkshire RTC, and give a development path into open age to hopefully the Emley first team.