Ladies Team crowned league champions

Following a league decision in these unique times, Spennymoor Town Ladies has been crowned league champions based on average points per game.

The Durham FA Ladies division unanimously voted for the league to be determined on points per game following a meeting today.

As well as being crowned champions in their debut season, the Ladies team will also be promoted to Durham County Football Association League One.

Led by Manager Domonic Bylett, the team has held first position all season, remaining unbeaten during an iconic inaugural campaign as a squad.

Bylett said: “It’s a fantastic achievement to go unbeaten and be promoted as champions in our first ever season together.

“It’s not the circumstances under which we wanted to win it, but nevertheless, the players and coaches have worked relentlessly this season and it’s great to mark that with a trophy.

“I’d like to thank the sponsors, supporters and the Club for backing the ladies team this season and we can’t wait to get started for next year.”

“It’s a fantastic achievement to go unbeaten and be promoted as champions in our first ever season together.

Head of Academy Andy Lowe praised the squad and staff following the announcement. He said: “In these very difficult times this is great news for our Ladies Team.

“They have dominated the league in 2019/20 and to go unbeaten is a fantastic achievement.

“I would like to place on record my congratulations to the whole squad, manager Domonic Bylett and all the backroom staff.

“They have all played their part in a memorable first season as a club.”

Despite finishing 2nd, Spennymoor’s points-per-game were 2.81, with 1st place Durham’s falling short at 2.75.

The Final: Watch the short film now

So close, yet so far.

Re-live a dramatic day at Victory Park as Moors faced Chorley in the 2019 National League Play-Off Final. Featuring exclusive clips and interviews, feel the pain, euphoria and pride all over again.

Watch the full film below!

National League Suspended Indefinitely

The National League Board met earlier today and has reviewed its prior decision to suspend the competition until at least 3rd April 2020.
In consideration of the very serious and unprecedented national public health emergency caused by the coronavirus, the Board has taken the decision to suspend the National League, National League North and National League South competitions indefinitely.
The National League is currently obtaining specialist legal advice, is consulting regularly with The Football Association and other stakeholders, and is committed to involving its member clubs in a pending decision on how best to conclude the 2019/20 season.

The Big Interview: Gavin Cogdon

After returning in the summer of 2019 for a second stint at The Brewery Field, club legend Gavin Cogdon talked about life back at Spennymoor.

August 2017. Spennymoor are about to embark on their first ever season in the National League North, the highest level in the club’s history, as the squad go through the media formalities and final preparations. But that’s not all that’s happening on a sun-drenched evening at The Brewery Field. The ‘Legends Wall’, the work of club sponsor’s Aztec Colour Print, is being unveiled. As the name suggests, it’s a place where only the very best is portrayed. The likes of Stephen Capper, Keith Graydon, Anthony Peacock and Lewis Dodds, all pivotal members of the 2013 Vase winning squad, are proudly emblazed. But one of those on the wall will now need to be updated. After Gavin Cogdon’s four goals in the Durham Challenge Cup, his good friend Lee Redford from Aztec will soon have another job on his hands.

 

A prolific goal scorer and all-round terroriser of defenders for a number of years at The Brewery Field, every Moors fan knows about Cogdon. Nicknamed ‘Titch’, the striker is looking to add to his 132 goals in 289 appearances between 2009 and 2016. As well as scoring an iconic goal in Moors’ FA Vase success in 2013, he also won the Northern League First Division, JR Cleator Cup, Durham Challenge Cup and Northern League Cup. If that wasn’t enough, he also struck the opener as Spennymoor beat Northwich Victoria 2-0 in the 2016 Evo-Stik North Division One Play-Off Final.

The striker left Moors and joined South Shields in the summer of 2016, helping the club to five trophies, including the Vase in 2017. But he has always had one eye on The Brewery Field. “I have loved being back at Spennymoor. I have kept up to speed with the club and what’s been happening during my time away. I am aware of the changes that have happened during the time I was with South Shields, ranging from the top to the stuff going on behind the scenes. This is a club which continues to keep moving forward and I fully expect that to be the case in the future.”

Competition in the forward places has never been as hotly contested at the club. With Glen Taylor, Adam Boyes and James Roberts also vying for minutes, Cogdon is fully aware of the need to be patient: “I didn’t set myself any expectations when I joined in the summer. I followed the club last season and it was amazing to see them get that far, and I want to replicate that this year. I feel I have a big part to play whether that is from the starting line-up or from the bench. Of course, the early part of the season has been a bit frustrating, but I am well aware that it’s a long season and as long as we are winning games I can’t really complain. The biggest frustration is that we haven’t been good enough on the pitch so far, and I want to play a big part in improving us.”

“We need to be setting our sights on our targets from the start of the season, and that is to finish as high as possible.”

Gavin Cogdon

The 36-year-old had a chance to impress last week as Moors played host to Darlington Town in the Durham Challenge Cup Preliminary Round. Cogdon was one of four first team players selected for the squad along with Joe Atkinson, Nathan Buddle and Jake Hibbs, and it proved to be a valuable evening for the forward: “I really enjoyed the Durham Challenge Cup game and the experience on the night as a whole. I was playing in a very young team and it gave me a realisation of my age. I’ve never felt old in that sense as I have always felt fit and healthy. It was great seeing some of the younger lads play and I was surprised that some of them were just 16. I thought Reece Nicholson and Charlie Bridson were the two standout performers on the night, but everyone played their part.”

Cogdon was the star of the show, scoring four times and causing chaos against the Wearside league outfit. After two close range efforts in an eventful first half, Cogdon showcased his magic with a superb third before an audacious lob from just inside the opposition half. His quick thinking was so speedy, it was almost missed by our cameras: “My fourth goal? That kind of speaks for itself as the cameraman missed it!”

Having spent time in a dressing room with some big characters in his first spell, perhaps too many to name, team spirit is something that is imperative to a good squad in the striker’s eyes. Luckily for Cogdon, that ethos is shared by all of his current teammates: “The spirit in the dressing room is unreal and is very similar to the last time I was here, and that is what I like. You have to be a big character here and that is one thing that I think is important. It’s actually something I am working on with my son. If you can survive the Spennymoor dressing room, you can survive anything in life to be honest! I absolutely love it and I hope it continues.”

Moors host Kidderminster Harriers today with the chance to move within one point of their opponents and start climbing the table. The points return and current league position may not be easy on the eye at the present time, Cogdon is confident that the team can turn it round: “Being brutally honest, it’s not been good enough, and I think everyone would say that. It’s a strange thing to say really as I have never been this low at this point of the season in regard to league position. But the National League North is a funny league. You just have to look at what happened last year and in the previous years and where a team is at this stage of the season and where they can end up.

“I know that moving forward we have the quality to start winning games, and it only takes a short space of time for that to flip on its head and change. That’s the mindset that we need to have. We are still in the FA Cup, but we need to be setting our sights on our targets from the start of the season, and that is to finish as high as possible. A play-off spot is a minimum as that was achieved last season, and as much as the early stages have been disappointing, we should still be aiming to climb the league and stay there.”

Games that changed my life: Glen Taylor

We asked Moors striker Glen Taylor to pick out the games which have defined his career to date.

Coalville Town 2-3 Whitley Bay
8 May, 2011 FA Vase Final
 
“I signed for Whitley Bay knowing they’d won the FA Vase two years running, and at that stage I was cup tied. The final was hard as I couldn’t play, but seeing the lads lift the trophy again gave me huge motivation to hard work and hopefully be successful in my career.”
Whitley Bay 0-3 Ashington
1 May, 2013 Northumberland Senior Cup Final
 
“I’ll always remember this game as it was the first trophy I’d won in senior football. Although it was a local county cup, it was played at St James’ Park which made it a big deal. It left me wanting more moments of success playing in front of decent crowds!”
Rushall Olymipic 1-5 Spennymoor Town
10 September, 2016 Norther Premier League
 
“After being out most of the previous season and the manager bringing in new forwards, there were rumours of me leaving the club. But, injury meant I got my chance against Rushall and I scored a hat-trick. I’ve never looked back since at Spennymoor. That game certainly changed my career and my Spennymoor Town experience.”
Spennymoor Town 1-0 Stourbridge
29 April, 2017 Northern Premier League Play-Off Final
 
“It felt like a huge build up to the game, and we were all so desperate to win and get promoted to the National League North. Gouldy did his best early on saving three or four of my attempts, but he couldn’t do anything with Ramma’s handball volley! Another promotion and another trophy!”
Chorley 1-1 Spennymoor Town
12 May, 2019 National League North Play-Off Final
 
“Although we ran out losers in the end – and it was heartbreaking – nobody can take away that feeling I had from scoring the equaliser in extra time. It’s the best feeling I’ve ever had from scoring a goal and it was made sweeter because I scored it in front of my closest family and our amazing travelling supporters. Watching that goal back now still raises the hairs on the back of my neck!”

The 10 things we miss about match days

We all miss them. From the euphoria of a goal hitting the back of the net to the strong aroma of bovril, match days are a big miss at the moment as the football hiatus continues. So, let’s look at the 10 things we miss most about match days!

1. the buzz

Every football fan knows the feeling. You wake up on a Saturday and your brain automatically kicks into routine. It’s another weekend which can only mean one thing, it’s match day. Often refereed to as the match day ‘buzz’, it’s that feeling of anticipation, excitement and nerves rolled into one. Outcomes and scenarios fill your head with another 90 minutes on the horizon.

Following Spennymoor is no different. Whether it’s an early start with a trip to Kidderminster, Hereford or Telford on the agenda, or a short walk to The Brewery Field, the feeling is always the same.

2. the mates

The social side of football is one of biggest appeals to fans. Meeting up with your mates for a pre-match pint, natter about tactics and who you would play in the number 10 role is all part of the experience. With the working week over, match days are the perfect tonic to have a laugh, destress and take your mind off the stresses of daily life.

Football is therapy for many people, and nothing quite beats a few beers, some lighthearted banter and cheering on the lads with your pals.

3. the walk

You’ve had your pre-match pint in The Moors Tavern and mingled with both home and away supporters as it nears 1.30pm. With the turnstiles about to open, you make your way down Durham Road and towards the home of Moors, The Brewery Field.

As you turn into Wood Vue, the Spennymoor arch greets you. You spot the ‘Welcome’ signs and the National League logos which give you another reminder of the club’s astronomical rise. After a warm greeting from the turnstile staff, you edge your way through the entrance and immediately in front of you reads, ‘Welcome to Spennymoor’. It’s almost time.

4. the smell

This one may seem a tad odd, but every football fan will be able to relate when you mention the smell of a match day. It’s that burger van aroma which flutters through the air as the tannoy begins to blast out the tunes. It’s the freshly cut grass. It’s the strong scent of bovril. It may be a small detail in the grand scheme of a match day, but it’s another simple thing we miss.

5. the first glance

With home games so frequent, it’s easy to forget about the little details which present themselves to you before a game. There’s so much to take in, from the preparations on the pitch ahead of the warm up’s to the club shop starting to fill up with fans looking for a bargain.

Everywhere you turn there’s something happening. Programmes being sold, photos being taken, old teammates catching up, media teams setting up. The list goes on.

6. the warm-up

In essence, the warm-up is a secondary thought for supporters already in the ground. Most will be enjoying themselves in The Neil Adams Sports Bar or warming themselves up with a hot drink. But, it’s a great chance to watch the lads get into their stride before it’s game-time.

Who’s up for it? How sharp is everyone? How many passes can they put together? What we would do just to watch a warm-up now!

7. the whistle

Pre-match music played. The lads are out and going through their final preparations. This is what the whole day has built up to. The butterflies begin as the referee puts the whistle tip his lips. The roar goes up and the game is under way, with 90 minutes of passion, adrenaline and, hopefully, excitement to follow.

Let’s be honest, it’s never been dull supporting Spennymoor down the years, so a lack of entertainment is never something we need to worry about!

8. THE SONGS

“We’ve got…Jason Ainsley, we’ve got…Jason Ainsley!” Songs and chants are a massive part of fan culture across the world. They range from basic to obscure, and, on the odd occasion, hilarious! We sadly can’t transcribe Ben McKenna’s chant, but I’m sure Moors fans would be happy to fill in the gaps.

Whether it’s a song about Glen Taylor’s magic hat or James Curtis mirroring the performances of a certain Liverpool defender, they make us laugh, scream and feel pride.

9. the goals

Thierry Henry once said, ‘Sometimes in life you have to score goals.’ The Frenchman is not wrong. It’s what our day ultimately boils down to. Can we put the ball in the back of the opponents net? Moors are the top scorers in the 2019/20 season, so it’s a feeling we are all used to.

Nothing beats the euphoria of when the ball hits the back of the net. A long range screamer, a dipping volley, a pinpoint header, a tap in from a yard out. A goal is a goal. We miss goals.

10. the three points

What better way to round off the day than three points? It’s what the lads train for every Tuesday and Thursday, with the holy grail of a victory signalling job done. It sets you up for a great night ahead at The Moors Tavern or further afield and the following week ahead is always a little sweeter on the back of a win.

Let’s hope that winning feeling returns soon, but in the meantime, stay home and stay safe!

The Big Interview: Jason Kennedy

After joining on loan from Hartlepool United in late January, Jason Kennedy outlined his targets and reflected on his career to date.

Jason Kennedy is the definition of a pro. Well-travelled, committed, hardworking and experienced, the midfielder has forged a career which saw him reach the heights of the Premier League in his early years as a player. Born in Stockton, Kennedy began at Middlesbrough’s academy in the early noughties, training at Rockliffe Hall three times a week as he aimed to make the grade. The hard work eventually paid off in when he made his first team bow against Fulham in the 2004/05 season.

It was Tuesday 19th April 2005 on a mild night at The Riverside Stadium. Kennedy began on the bench, perhaps unsurprising when looking at the squad that night: Brad Jones, Colin Cooper, Gareth Southgate, Ugo Ehiogu, Frank Queudrue, Ray Parlour, George Boateng, Bolo Zenden, Stewart Downing, Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink, Szilard Nemeth. Current Moors coach Stuart Parnaby. Fulham boasted star names such as Edwin Van Der Sar, Luis Boa Morte and Brian McBride. With The Cottagers leading 1-0 courtesy of McBride’s strike, Kennedy replaced Cooper with four minutes of normal time remaining and filled in at an unfamiliar right back role as Boro chased an equaliser.

That elusive goal came as the match entered additional time, with Zenden netting a penalty after Hasselbaink was fouled in the area. Kennedy remembers that time of his career well: “I was a Middlesbrough fan as a youngster, so it was always a dream to develop through the ranks at the academy and make my debut for the first team. I still remember coming on against Fulham. I came on at right back which was a position I was completely unfamiliar with and was up against Boa Morte…he was quick! It was an amazing feeling as it was something I had worked hard for.”

Kennedy went on to make four first team Premier League appearances before going on to make a name for himself as a loyal, reliable pro and a fine player in the lower leagues. His first stop was Darlington where he made more than 50 appearances, experiencing heartbreak in the play-off semi-final against future employers Rochdale after missing a crucial penalty in a tense shootout in April 2010. His goal in the first leg, coupled with consistent and dominant performances for The Quakers, saw him swooped up by Dale the following campaign.

He went on to play almost 200 times for Rochdale, a time he recollects upon fondly: “I got promoted in my first season at Rochdale into League One, and we adapted really well to a higher division. We actually went on to achieve the club’s highest ever finish at that stage. We finished on around 70 points and in 9th, a great achievement and it was something special to be a part of. Sadly, we got relegated the year after, but I loved my time there. The manager at the time, Keith Hill, really knew how to get the best out of me, and I think all the lads who played in that team went on to bigger and better things in the future.”

“The aim is to enjoy football at this stage of my career.”

Jason Kennedy

After leaving Rochdale his next destination was Bradford City, where he was part of the match day squad that famously came from 2-0 down to beat Chelsea 4-2 at Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup Fourth Round. Kennedy made 37 appearances for Bradford before joining Carlisle on a permanent deal following a successful loan stint, making over 100 appearances for The Cumbrians and scoring 15 times, the same amount he netted for Rochdale. But injury trouble was on the immediate horizon for Kennedy.

Speaking to Dom Shaw at The Gazette in July 2019 after signing a deal at National League side Hartlepool, Kennedy opened up about his injury hell: “”I saw five specialists, I was going from doctor to doctor, they hadn’t diagnosed me and I’m starting to think, ‘am I imagining this? Obviously, I wasn’t because I couldn’t get out of bed on a morning and walk, never mind think about training. I woke up every day literally thinking how I am going to get through the day because I couldn’t get out of bed on my own, I used to have to use a support to get out of bed.

“You start to question yourself. I thought that was it, I thought I’d have to retire. I’d been constantly doing as much rehab as I could, but it just wasn’t improving. I got to the stage where I felt like giving up because nothing was working. I love football and I wanted to play for as long as I could. But you know what, it wasn’t even because of football. It was because I couldn’t even go out and play passies with my son. He’d come home from school and ask if we could go to the park and I couldn’t. It was so hard. My main goal was to be fit and healthy enough to play with my child and do what dads do with their kids.”

Having returned to full fitness and recovered from his injury nightmares, Kennedy is now looking ahead to his time at Spennymoor. “I enjoy working hard for the team and getting on the ball. I have recently discovered that I have a good trait of being in the right place at the right time to score a few tap-ins! I’ll always give 100% for the cause no matter what shirt I am wearing. Hopefully I can get a few goals along the way too, but the main aim during my time here at Spennymoor is play games and get some minutes under my belt.

“The whole move came around quickly on the Friday before the Gloucester game. I was thrust into things when I was heading down to Gloucester on the night for the overnight stay, but it was nice to meet everyone and get some minutes. After spending time out injured, the aim is to enjoy football at this stage of my career. Ideally that would be playing week in week out, but I know I will have to work to achieve that.”

Helping families through tough times

Chief Executive funds academy shortfall personally

 

It’s no secret that football clubs are struggling to bear the weight that the Coronavirus pandemic has put on businesses and organisations across the globe.

Many clubs are already battling to pay wages and have made difficult decisions around laying off staff and players.

With youth football postponed for the foreseeable future, Spennymoor Town Youth FC faces the same pressures.  Whilst running costs have been reduced in preparation for the next few months, they cannot be completely removed and children will not be receiving coaching or training until it is deemed safe by the government.  This raises the question of the validity of parents continuing their monthly subscription fees, which are essential for the club to run.

Andy Lowe, Head of Academy, met with Tony Wilson, Managing Director, and Brad Groves, Chief Executive, on Monday morning to decide on the best course of action.  Options included measures as drastic as asking parents to keep up direct debits despite their children not playing football to ensure the youth football club did not cease to be viable.

After consideration, Mr Groves has confirmed that all families’ direct debits will be cancelled from the start of April and he will personally cover the shortfall to keep the academy running until such time as normal service can resume.

Andy Lowe, Head of Academy

Andy Lowe has praised the Chief Executive’s gesture.  He said: “I was amazed when Mr Groves said he was willing to underwrite the club out of his own pocket.  It’s an incredible gesture on his part and I have personally thanked him.

“Our parents had agreed to pay monthly subscriptions for as long as their children were a part of the club.  That left difficult conversations once youth football was postponed and our ability to deliver the service was diminished. 

“It was clear to me in Monday’s meeting that preventing families from having to pay out unnecessarily at this time was Mr Groves’ primary concern.  To feel such a responsibility to families in County Durham is testament to what he’s given the area in his career and his time with the club.

“Having been inspired by Mr Groves’ generosity, some parents have asked to continue paying their direct debit to support the club through this period, which is greatly appreciated by all of us here.

“Our subscription fees are already the lowest in the County, but outgoing expenses are certainly a concern for us all.  This gesture is a small bit of positive news for our parents and children at a very concerning time.  I’m pleased to say that feedback from parents and coaches across the club has been excellent in response to this and we remain excited for the future of Spennymoor Town Youth FC.”

Brad Groves, Chief Executive of Spennymoor Town FC.

 

 

Our NHS Heroes

In these unprecedented times when football pales in significance, Spennymoor Town Football Club would like to recognise our NHS Heroes.

From the surgeons to the porters, the nurses to the catering staff, the physios to the midwives, and the paramedics to the GPs – these heroes across the country are battling adversity each day to help us all when we’re at our most vulnerable.

We are proud to have amazing people like that who are part of the Moors family, all of whom are working tirelessly during these uncertain times.

Andy Oates, who has been with the club since 2007, works as an Extended Scope Practitioner Physiotherapist within the NHS.

Allan Wheatley, the club’s Safeguarding Officer, is a Director at Nerams ltd, a company which offers Ambulance Transport to the public and private sectors and first aid medical training to businesses and individuals.

Academy coaches Dan Newell and Christopher Birchall both work for the North East Ambulance Service, with both working long hours in attempt to keep us safe.

Once again, we would like to reiterate our gratitude and admiration for the job our Moors heroes and NHS staff across the country are doing now.

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