Latest News

Let battle commence!

News Story Image

Filed: Friday, 14th September 2018
By: Staff Writer

Thundersley Rovers will begin the 2018/19 season with TEN Academy teams entering local competition, from Under 7s through Under 13s.

And with the new campaign officially set to commence this weekend, we thought we'd ask each of our managers to give you the lowdown on our Academy squads as we prepare for another long, thrilling season of football!

Team: Under 7s
Manager: James Gates

This season has brought a new challenge for me (having spent last season working with the Under 10s) and for my team who are all new arrivals at the club and to football in general.

I have no aspirations in terms of number or wins or trophies, what will make me happy is seeing the boys enjoying the football and being in a team with their mates as well as seeing them develop and use the skills that we work hard on in training.

We have a really good squad of players who have taken to the game really well. We have Leo and Henry who look really good going forward and who I feel will score lots of goals. We have Nicholas and Ralphie who are really strong in the tackle and never stop running.

We have Toby in goal who is very agile and developing his game with every training session and we have my son Ollie, who is strong and likes to drive forward. I'm not sure who is more excited, me or the boys!

Team: Under 8s Blacks
Manager: Graham Carter

Graham will be leading his squad into the new season for the second time, having joined the club a year ago.

Team: Under 8s Reds
Managers: Colin Roberts & Ben Harringley

The time that we have been working towards has finally arrived! Myself and co-manager Ben Harringley are eager to get the league fixtures started, having decided halfway through last season that we would like to have a go at managing our sons' football team.

We started off with just two players in Connor and Archie; with the help of Ben's wife Laura we were lucky to recruit some 12 players and decided to start training.

With so many players we were left with the hard decision of having to split the team up, in order to get ready for starting the league this season. We were blessed that Tim and Lee (fathers of two of the boys) stepped up to take some of the players to start their own team (aka the Under 8s Whites).

We have completed pre-season and are now really looking forward to the season ahead. The team are a great bunch of lads that are eager to learn and all have a real keen interest in the game.

Every game we have played we can see the team getting stronger and gaining confidence and although we are hoping to sign a couple of late additions to further strengthen our squad, I feel we have the makings of a great little team. Roll on the start of the season!

Team: Under 9s
Manager: Colin Smith

All change!

A lot of changes for us this season; we've signed four new players, we move up to seven-a-side and we also move up a division after what we feel was a decent season last year in Divison 4.

It will be interesting to see how our players adapt to the changes. Our new players have been with us a few months already and have settled in really well, helped by the fact that they go to the same school.

We've kept all of our existing players bar one who had to move clubs due to family moving home, but with the players we have I'm really looking forward to the season ahead.

There will no doubt be some ups and some downs but that's football....bring on the new season! #COYR

Team: Under 10s
Manager: Alan Blakesley

An exciting season awaits the Under 10s who remain in the North section of the South East Essex Primary League. Last season was competitive throughout and looking at the teams in our section this year, it is geared up to be another challenging season

The boys finished last season very strongly and our last match against Rayleigh (who won the league) was my favourite performance of the last three years! I hope that the boys will continue to leave everything on the pitch and to play for each other in the way that they did at the back end of last season.

We have grown the squad this year having said goodbye to Sam at the end of last season. We now have 13 boys training with the team, with ten being signed as the match day squad and the other three forming an important part of our plans as we head towards nine-a-side in a year's time.

All of the boys have shown real development as players and people and I can't wait to watch them in action this season!

Squad: Ronnie, Tommy, Josh, Max, James, Lem, Jack Murphy, Jack Morrell, Owen, Kai, Niall, Harry, Callum.

Team: Under 11s Blacks
Manager: John Duffy

This summer the Under 11s Blacks have added Assistant Manager/Coach Nick Judd to the team. He's already left a good impression on the boys with his skills, knowledge and experience and we are all glad heís on board.

We have also managed to keep all of our players that were very successful during the last two years, winning back-to-back promotions. We have also managed to add two more boys for the progression up to nine-a-side.

Harrison Saunders has not played any competitive football before but hard work during pre-season is starting to pay off. Heís fitted in well and is ready for his first ever season in football with the Rovers.

Our second new signing is Harrison Stone, a solid CDM who has good feet, loves the ball played to his feet and enjoys a solid tackle. Heís filling the void this year as CB and looking amazing so far.

Pre-season we had one 9v9 friendly, against Berry Boys from Division 1 that we lost 2-1 in the last minute - although I was far from disappointed as we were trialling the two new boys.

More recently we won the Benfleet Youth tournament, winning two matches and drawing one to top the group before winning a penalty shootout against Mornington U12s having drawn in the final.

This season we have been matched against a couple of teams from last year's Division 2 and five or six teams from Division 1 so we're expecting a tough test - but one that Iím sure the boys will relish. We'd still would like one or two more signings but overall I'm very happy with all the boys, their attitude, commitment and progression.

Team: Under 11 Whites
Manager: Dominic Markham

Last season was a mixed year for the Under 11 Whites. We were promoted a division and struggled in the higher tier but came back down after Xmas and did well, winning five out of nine.

This year we have lost two strong players in Ollie and Eddie, and have also seen our goalkeeper Teddy retire from football at the ripe old age of 10! I will miss Ollie, our top goalscorer last season, but I wish him well with his new team. However we have three new boys this season in Lennie, Alfie and our most recent arrival, Bobby.

In Bobby I believe we have found a very strong 'keeper, Lennie will certainly be ok in a lot of positions and Alfie looks like a great left sided player. So overall, I think we have added to the squad. Our two trainees from last season, Harry and Luke will now take their deserved position in the team after training hard for a season!

I have also gained a coach in Neal McGowan (Lennie's father) who coached last season, so he will be an invaluable asset and help develop the team. Sadly I will also lose James as he will be coaching the Under 7s team this season (and I wish him well)!

So the squad has largely stayed the same and we should be ok if we are in Divisions 3 or 4.

The boys have had plenty of games at nine-a-side so I am not too worried about stepping up. Ben may play further forward this year as we only have Finn as a striker now, although I have plenty of wide players in Lennie, Jake and Harry (even though we'll miss Ollie's tough tackling in midfield).

However Harry Stapleton is a big lad and will play midfield. Riley is my rock solid defender, he just does the simple thing well - whilst Charlie has improved at the back and now I expect him to carry the ball out of defence a bit more!

So in summary, I am looking forward to the challenge of nine-a-side football. We have had a few forced changes, but overall I am happy with the squad and looking forward to the 2018-19 season. COYR!

Team: Under 11 Reds
Manager: Scott Petty

I am a new coach at Thundesley Rovers along with my assistant Darren. We used to jointly run Chalvedon's Under 9s squad, but moved to Rovers at the end of last season.

Darren and I managed to bring some of our former Chalvedon players over with us whilst the Club managed to keep much of last season's existing Thundersley Reds team, giving us a healthy base to start from.

Additionally we managed to sign two players from Basildon Boys during the summer, so we should have a great little team this season and can't wait to start coaching them!

The new squad had its first competitive outing at the Wickford tournament last weekend; we were very proud of the boys who draw four games and and lost the remaining two. Roll on the start of the season!

Team: Under 12s
Manager: Graeme Howlett

It's been a summer of major change in the Under 12s with four players - Dylan, Seth, Ben and Sophie - leaving the team since the end of last season and five more - Tommy, Callum, Sam, Bobby and Harrison - coming in to replace them, giving us a squad of 13 players for the 2018/19 season.

It's often the case in such circumstances that the squad is weakened as a result, but I firmly believe we've strengthened in every single position which should stand us in good stead for the forthcoming campaign in Division C of the Southend & District League.

Following the departure of Dylan, I'm delighted to announce that Jon-Henry Pyner has been named as club captain this season; a relatively unusual role for a goalkeeper, but as one of our longest-serving players an honour that is fully deserved.

We'll once again be playing our home matches at Thundersley Common although it'll be the final year for us at our traditional home, as we move to 11-a-side next season and a new venue!

It's my hope that we can mark our final season at The Common with a few notable victories and I hope that, with the much-improved squad we've managed to assemble, we can at least challenge for a trophy or two this year.

Team: Under 13s
Managers: Rob Silvester & Alex Nash

After a fantastic first season as a new team, Alex and myself couldnít be happy with our squad. Unfortunately we have lost one lad but gained two new players.

Will Sturley, who has come from Canvey Blue in Division B is fantastic on the ball and possesses a really good football brain. We have also added Albie Norman, a no-nonsense defender who isn't scared of a tackle or two!

Itís been a real struggle to try and add additional players this season, which seems to be the case across the league. But with the 13 boys we have so far I feel we have a really good chance to challenge for the title and a enjoy decent Cup run.

Alex and I have always said win, lose or draw as long as the boys do their best and enjoy their football we have done our job as coaches. We would like to wish all our fellow coaches and associated members a great season - and please remember, this is grass roots football not the World Cup!

Related News

    Rovers mark Remembrance Sunday [11th Nov 2018]
    Let battle commence! [14th Sep 2018]
    2018/19 Club roster [19th Jul 2018]
    AGM notice [3rd May 2018]