Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Binfield FC with Bob Bacon

Please read below for my interview with Binfield chairman Bob Bacon. It was published in the latest Football Focus magazine which can be viewed here for absolutely free! Included in the current issue are Leyton Orient, Dunfermline Athletic, Crawley Town and many more football clubs.

Binfield FC
Above: Hill Farm Lane, the home of Binfield Football Club
Bob Bacon, chairman of Binfield Football Club, is an ambitious man and it appears that his principals lie in the right areas. Bob is seeks a successful youth policy, improved coaching, modern facilities and a club who play football the right way – producing exciting football that the local community can be proud of.

All the above components are important to Binfield, but Bob believes success with youngsters is particularly vital, although he stresses that they must enjoy themselves too. “Binfield FC has 400 registered players below Under 18 level, of which 40% are from the local village. We run a Soccer School, which takes boys and girls from 3-and-a-half to 6 and typically has an attendance of 40-plus each Sunday. We invest in 10 coaches, all at least FA Level 1 qualified and first-aid trained but this is very much a fun culture.”

Indeed, it is the youth system which nurtures youngsters from the local community into becoming quality players for the future and as Bob explains, the Hellenic Football League, Premier Division side produces one or two players every year which attract scouts from bigger clubs. “We have Chelsea, Brentford and Queens Park Rangers regularly scout at the football club and some boys go and enjoy a couple of years of slick training on fantastic pitches, which really helps their game. I don't want to tempt fate, but we have two centre forwards this year who have scored more than 60 goals between them - it is fair to say they are getting increased attention from clubs. Clearly, we hope they stay with Binfield!”

Binfield possess some quality facilities and a fantastic playing surface at their ground, Hill Farm Lane, so it is little wonder that the club has a knack for producing exciting players. However, Bob explains that it is the hospitality that Binfield supply that wins them just as many plaudits. “Margate FC came to Hill Farm Lane in the summer for an FA Cup game; they were very complimentary on how we looked after them and our playing style. A jewel in the crown for us is the playing surface, which gets accolades. Most of our opposition love playing on it as it is flat and has grass on it! We invest heavily in it during the close season, and will continue to do so. In total, we have two full size pitches, one of which is fenced off for the senior teams and a further pitch for the 7 a-sides.”

If the Hill Farm Lane facilities are in use, then Binfield are sure to have their remaining coaches helping elsewhere in the local area and Bob is proud to label Binfield a community club. “We achieved FA Charter status 4 years ago, and then we were awarded FA Community status 2 years later. We work actively with the local Binfield primary school and 2 of our coaches run after-school soccer clubs for a nearby primary school. We are also looking at striking a relationship with a local senior club, where we will work with boys and girls and in turn, look to train our seniors on their 3G pitch and use their gym facilities during the winter months. We also, as a club, sponsor of the Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) charity, and recently funded screening for 30 teenagers to check on their cardiac health.”

Looking towards the future, Bob seeks further improvement in the youth side of the club. “I want to see the junior club standard increase, which doesn't mean thrashing everyone in sight, but playing a standard and a quality of football that people admire. I would like to see the coaches improve and share their skill with other age groups and for the Community Club ethos reach out to other schools and organisations. Ideally, I would like to see our under 18's Allied Counties team have 60% of their squad come up through the ranks of the club.”

Bob's ambitions do not stop there. He also wants the senior team to keep progressing. At the time of writing, the Binfield senior side are pushing towards the top of the Hellenic Premier Division and could find themselves in a higher league next season. Bob is delighted with their achievements so far this season and hopes they can push on. “At the senior end I want to see the first team get to the next step in the pyramid, playing the brand of football that they have played this year - quick, on the floor, passionate, lots of shooting. It would also be nice to see us get further in the FA Vase and the FA Cup than we got last year and to make Hill Farm Lane a fortress.”

written by Will Lyon

No comments:

Post a Comment