Welcome to Shelley FC
Fri 13th July 2018 | Shelley Community | By Ian Templeman
Another of the new destinations for clubs in Division One North this season is the village of Shelley, home of Shelley FC.
Shelley is located in West Yorkshire, six miles south east of Huddersfield, and three miles north of Holmfirth, the town which was made famous as the setting for the BBC television series "Last of the Summer Wine".
The Football Club was established in 1903 and was originally located on Back Lane, opposite the village hall in Shelley. In the late 1950’s the club relocated to Westerly Lane in Shelley which heralded a period of success including a double in 1960/61 winning both Huddersfield & District Division 3 title and the Groom Cup.
However, the club folded in 1972 but was reformed in 1980 by Ash Berry, Paul Hirst and Steven Shephard.
In 2008 the current chairman Craig Leslie took over the club when they were in Division 5 of the Huddersfield and District League. Craig was a former player and was brought up in Shelley, and his first job was to recruit as manager a friend, former team mate and one of the club founders Ash Berry to take up the manager’s position.
Ash had, after finishing playing, taken his coaching badges and had worked as either manager or assistant at several Evo-Stik League clubs.
Plans were immediately launched to find a new ground, and with the help and support of the Leslie Sports Foundation and the Football Foundation, the club moved to their present day location at Storthes Hall in 2011.
After several years of hard work, the Storthes Hall facility was formally opened by Sarah, Duchess of York in June 2015, and is now known as the Stafflex Arena.
Much of the ground development work over the years has been headed up by the volunteer ground staff team of Rob Hardy, Ash Berry and Stuart Crank, and the club recently received the good news that they had won the Sheffield & Hallamshire County FA award for Groundsteam of the Year, in this year’s FA McDonalds Grassroots Football Awards.
The club can now look forward to being presented with their award at the Sheffield & Hallamshire County FA Grassroots Awards at the New York Stadium, home of Rotherham United, on Thursday 18th October.
The club has four senior teams, and in addition to the first team, the 2nd team play in the West Yorkshire Amateur League Division Two, and two other teams compete in the Huddersfield and District League.
However, one of the key areas of growth in recent years is the club’s Junior section, as Junior Secretary Rob Hardy explained.
“The Junior section is the heart of our club, and we have grown from 4 teams in 2011 to now having over 25. The junior section teams predominantly play either on Saturday and Sunday mornings in the Huddersfield Junior Football League.
“As we are affiliated to the Sheffield & Hallamshire FA some of our teams also get the opportunity to compete in the Sheffield County Cup.
“At Shelley CFC we see the development of our young players as the priority, and we celebrate one of our youngsters being picked up by an Academy as much as we do winning a League or a Cup. Fortunately, both of these are a regular occurrence.
“The high quality of our coaching is also the reason that we host the Barnsley FC Development Squad for 8-12 year olds for the area.
“Shelley CFC are also active in the community, especially in the area of Disability football. We run weekly football sessions at local schools focused on young people with special needs, as well as a weekly fully inclusive session to support our Ability Counts teams at U12 and U16”.
As far as the Hallmark Security League is concerned, club committee member Gary Millar says that the club have been planning a step up for several years.
“It has always been the aim to get the first team into the “Counties” since starting the Storthes Hall project 9 years ago. Efforts were pushed forward to get the ground ready to meet the grading criteria 2 years ago.
“Ash Berry, our First Team Manager, has spoken to several clubs at a similar level and higher, having coached previously in the UniBond/Evo-Stik League, and we are really looking forward to a new challenge, being able to visit new grounds and meet new people.
“Our aim is to be competitive and prove the decision of the League and the FA in accepting our application a justified one”.