Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Season Preview Part VII - Stourbridge, Swindon and Weymouth

Let joy be unconfined! It's the final part of Stag Army's season preview! We've had a look at some interesting clubs in the last week, and now there are three more left. They are Stourbridge, Swindon Supermarine and Weymouth. So please read, you've only got this to go then it's all over, I promise.


A Brief History: The club was founded in 1876 as Stourbridge Standard FC. By 1890 the club had shortened it's name to simply Stourbridge, was playing in the Birmingham and District League, and had won the Worcestershire Senior Cup three times. In 1924 Stourbridge won the Birmingham League for the first time and won the Worcestershire Senior Cup again. In 1971 the club moved to the Southern League and won the Division One North in 1974. Stourbridge spent 10 years, from 1974 to 1984, in the Southern League Premier Division before relegation to the Midland Division, and won the Worcestershire Senior Cup for a ninth time in 1981. In 1991 the club won the Midland Division but were denied promotion because their ground was shared with the local cricket club. In 2000 Stourbridge were relegated to the Midland Football Alliance, ending a 29-year stay in the Southern League. Despite winning the league in 2003, the club was again refused promotion due to new ground grading regulations. The club won promotion back to the Southern League in 2006 and 2 seasons later they were promoted again as they beat Leamington in the play off final to reach the Southern League Premier Division.

Ground: Stourbridge play at the War Memorial Athletic Ground, which is a bit of a mouthful, so to ease the pressure on my fingers, I will refer to it as the WMAG. The WMAG has a capacity of 2,014 and also hosts cricket matches played by Stourbridge Cricket Club.

Nickname: Stourbridge are also known as The Glassboys. This name comes from the town's famous glass making industry. Or maybe they're just a bit fragile.

Notable Former Players: Pffff.....really struggling to find anyone of note. Richard Forsyth...? Midfielder who played in the Football League with Birmingham City, Stoke City, Blackpool, Peterborough United and Cheltenham Town, and scored 71 goals in over 300 appearances for Kidderminster Harriers.

Swindon Supermarine

A Brief History: Swindon Supermarine were founded in 1992 from the merger of two teams who were struggling financially, Swindon Athletic FC and Supermarine FC. The newly formed club took Swindon Athletic's place in the Hellenic League. The club won the Hellenic League in the 1997/98 season but due to certain ground regulations they were denied promotion. In the 2000/01 season Swindon won the Hellenic League again and this time, thanks to improvements made to the club's ground, were promoted to the Southern League. The club spent 4 years struggling towards the wrong end of the table before reaching the play offs in the 2005/06 season; losing in the semi finals to Hemel Hempstead Town. The next season the club got to the play offs again and this time beat Burnham and Taunton Town in the semi final and final respectively to gain promotion to the Southern League Premier Division. In 2010 the club had financial problems that could jeopardise their place in the Southern League. Thanks to sponsorship efforts by the clubs supporters, enough money was raised to keep the club going.

Ground: Swindon Supermarine play at the Webb's Wood Stadium. The name is due to the ground being sponsored by a local timber merchant. The ground ha a capacity of 3,000 with over 300 seats in a covered stand.

Nickname: The Marine. They just removed the 'Super' part of Supermarine really. I would have thought The Supers' would be better. It sounds cool. But each to their own.

Notable Former Players: Considering the club was formed in 1992 and have spent their whole existence in non-league football, there aren't really any players of note who have played for them. Tom Jones played for them from 1998 to 2002. That's pretty amazing, I suppose. Oh, wait. It's an ex footballer who also played for Aberdeen, Swindon and Reading, not the Welsh singer.


A Brief History: Weymouth FC were founded in 1890. They were founder members of the Dorset League before joining the Western League in 1907. After winning the Western League in 1923 the club turned professional and joined the Southern League. In 1929 the club had financial difficulties and reverted to being an amateur club once again and withdrew from the Southern League. The club folded then reformed 5 years later. During WWII football was stopped, and the club reformed again in 1947 and won promotion back to the Southern League. The club were Southern League champions 2 years running, in 1965 and 1966. The club stepped up to the Conference but after moving to a new stadium in 1987 they were relegated to the Southern League. Weymouth gained promotion to the Conference in 2006 and finished in 11th place the next season. In 2008 the club began a big rebranding process including a new club crest, new motto, plans for a new stadium, and the hope of achieving promotion to the Football League. However in 2009 Weymouth found themselves in financial trouble and were forced to field their under 18's team for a league game against Rushden & Diamonds, losing 9-0. The club were relegated at the end of the season. After going into administration the club was relegated again the next season from the Conference South. Weymouth survived a third relegation in a row in 2011 when, despite losing 3-2 to champions Truro City on the final day of the season, Didcot Town's 3-0 defeat to Oxford City meant Weymouth survived by 2 points.

Ground: Weymouth play at the Bob Lucas Stadium. The ground was known as the Wessex Stadium until 2010 when it was renamed in honour of long-serving club president Bob Lucas who sadly passed away in August 2010 with cancer at the age of 85. The stadium has a capacity of 10,000, by far the biggest in the league this season, with seating for 900 spectators.

Nickname: The club are known as The Terras. This name stems from the club's terracotta coloured shirts and not a bloody and violent history. Although the shirts look more like claret to me.

Notable Former Players: Just a few by the look of it. Here's a small selection of ex-Terras. Wycombe Wanderers striker Stuart Beavon played for Weymouth before joining The Chairboys. Former Morecambe, Swindon and Aldershot defender Chris Blackburn spent time on loan at Weymouth from Swindon in 2008. Bristol Rovers manager Paul Buckle played for Weymouth in 2003/04. Steve Claridge played for Weymouth in the 1980's and again in 2009. Derby County goalkeeper Adam Legzdins spent a month on loan at Weymouth from Crewe Alexandra in 2009. Yeovil Town defender and former West Ham trainee Bondz N'Gala played 3 games for Weymouth on loan from The Hammers in 2008. Bournemouth midfielder Anton Robinson played for Weymouth from 2007 to 2009. TV and radio pundit Andy Townsend, who played for Southampton, Norwich City, Chelsea, Aston Villa, Middlesbrough, West Bromwich Albion and the Republic of Ireland national team, played for Weymouth before joining Southampton in 1985. There are more but I don't have the finger stamina or the time of day to include them all.


So there we have it. We've been right the way through the league, from Arlesey to Weymouth and this season we'll do it all again, for real! I hope this has been of interest or at least factual and humourous enough to keep you entertained. Good luck to all the teams this season in the Evo-Stik Southern Premier Division (except when you play against Totton).

No comments:

Post a Comment