Having almost completed their debut season, newly founded team the ‘Alresford Gunners’ have made a striking start to their football journey.

Over the past eight months, the team have developed into a strong group of players, having originally never played together before. 

With help from Alresford Town Youth Football Club, parents Dave Corney and Matt Sims took the task upon themselves to create a new team so that their sons had the opportunity to play football more frequently. 

The reason for its creation was to give the boys a better chance at getting to play in games, with many previous organisations being too full and therefore unable to let the teens fulfil their potential.

With help from business Hatch as sponsor, the team were able to fund all the necessary equipment, including their kit. Hatch seemed perfect for the role with it being a transformation business, helping big organisations to change and expand, matching the team’s ethos. 

The boys have gathered as many players as possible who are in the same situation and have dedicated their team name to Mr Corney’s family shooting ground, ‘Wallers Ash.’ The gun club was founded in 1995 and is still located in Winchester today. 

The evolution of the team has been demonstrated as this year’s season has progressed. Being new and unfamiliar, the Alresford Gunners lost more matches than they won at first. As of current, however, they have won two of their three most recent games.

Mr Corney expressed his enthusiasm towards the group’s effort: “I’m proud of the players and what we’re doing as a group. It’s been difficult at times, but throughout they have never given up. They turn up every week and give 100%.” He also praised the Alresford Town Youth Club for their support: “We are part of a much wider Alresford Town football community and we couldn’t have done it without them and their facilities.”

Sims, being both sponsor and Assistant Manager, emphasised the team’s focus upon participation above all: “Our philosophy is that these boys get gametime whether they are the best or not.”

The team are always looking for more players, especially those who feel as though they aren’t playing as much as they might have hoped. They are an all-boys team, part of Alresford Town Youth Football Club but with their own name and approach, working with ages 14-15. Being such a tight knit group, the aim is for the team to move up through the academic years together.

The Gunners train at Perins School with their home ground being the local Stratton Bates park. Team member Max said: “Going to training is always fun, everyone enjoys it. The coaches are brilliant and integrated so there’s a sense of family within our group- we’ve got the teamwork but the friendships too.” 

The team will continue to play matches every weekend, maintaining their focus on making football as fun as possible, whilst supporting its players and their wellbeing.