It’s onwards and upwards for Bosham FC

Bosham lift the West Sussex League premier-division title
Bosham lift the West Sussex League premier-division title

It’s been another busy close season at Bosham, with little time to draw breath following the West Sussex Premier League champions’ promotion to division three of the Sussex League.

Work at the club’s Walton Lane home has been to the fore following the Robins’ successful Sport England Inspired Facilities grant, which totalled £52,125.

The project was split into two phases – the first focusing on internal re-sizing the dressing rooms and new benching; a referees’ room re-fit; and new dugouts and matchday perimeter railing needed to meet the grading criteria.

The second phase focused on a clubhouse refurbishment, including new flooring, lighting, toilets and electrics.

Finishing redecoration touches are expected to be completed by mid-July.

Bosham are also upping participation among local youngsters, with new teams at under-14 and under-16 level taking their place in the Arun & Chichester Youth League next season.

Following further successful funding through the Football Foundation’s Grow the Game grant totalling £3,000 over the next three years, they can be assured of financial backing for facilities hire, affiliation and referees fees, new Nike playing kit, first-aid kit, in addition to supporting qualified new coaches and the necessary CRB checks.

Bosham were one of nine clubs to gain funding of this type in Sussex – which also included Chichester City Ladies.

They are on the lookout for players, volunteers and coaches at both youth levels and invite anyone interested to email their details to info@boshamfc.co.uk

The club website – www.boshamfc.co.uk – continues to go from strength to strength while their professionally-printed match programme meanwhile received a merit in the Soccer Club Swap Shop awards.

Club officials are extremely grateful to the positive response received from local businesses – many of whom have reinvested their support as the Robins embark on their return to the Sussex League, which kicks off on Saturday, August 23.

Long-serving centre-half Ben Blanshard has announced he is standing down as club captain, handing over the armband to last season’s manager’s player of the season Nick Edgington.

Manager Andy Probee looks set to keep faith with the majority of the squad who won promotion last season, but is also giving an open invitation to any new players who may be keen to get involved with the club. They return to pre-season training on Thursday, July 10 at Walton Lane from 6.45pm, with sessions every Tuesday and Thursday thereafter, aside from friendly dates.

Friendlies are as follows: Saturday, July 26, 3pm – Selsey (A); Tuesday, July 28, Midhurst & Easebourne United (at Graffham), ko TBC; Tuesday, August 5, Hayling United (A), 7.30pm; Wednesday, August 13, Bognor under-18’s (venue/ k.o TBC); Saturday, August 16, 3pm, Cowfold (A).

The reserves are making a step up to the county league’s reserve section west division. Ben Evans and Paul Wilkins’ charges face the prospect of a number of challenging fixtures against the likes of county division-one sides Chichester City and Selsey.

Sussex League cup draws have been made, with Bosham hosting Billingshurst in the first round of the Division 3 Cup. The reserves face a derby with a trip to Pagham’s second-string in the Reserve Section Cup’s second round.

The reserves need of a linesman for next season – if you can help, please contact info@boshamfc.co.uk. A small fee is included and lifts to away games can be provided.

Home fixtures will again be broadcast live online via the successful Robins Radio (www.Mixlr.com/robins_radio), courtesy of former BBC Southern Counties Radio presenter Steve Sheppard.

And Bosham are looking to resurrect their darts team into the Chichester Monday Night League starting in September, with home fixtures played in the newly-refurbished clubhouse. Again, e-mail info@boshamfc.co.uk if you are interested.

SIMON JASINSKI

What’s happening at your football club in the close season? Email steve.bone@chiobserver.co.uk with news and views