Youth club saved by the Wan­der­ers

Hopes of set­ting up a ‘top qual­ity’ foot­ball fa­cil­ity for young peo­ple

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - By Jack Abell jack.abell@trin­i­tymir­

YOUNG­STERS are cel­e­brat­ing af­ter League 2 side Wy­combe Wan­der­ers stepped in to save their youth club.

Ger­rards Cross Youth Club has been closed since the end of last year due to a lack of peo­ple com­ing for­ward to work as youth lead­ers.

It has now been an­nounced that the club, which had been run­ning for more than 60 years, will re­open on Tues­day, June 2, af­ter the Wy­combe Wan­der­ers Sport and Ed­u­ca­tion Trust (WWSET) stepped in to take it over. The trust will pro­vide pro­fes­sional qual­i­fied youth work­ers and will help with vol­un­teer sup­port as well as putting for­ward a pro­gramme of ac­tiv­i­ties for boys and girls of dif­fer­ent ages.

Wy­combe Wan­der­ers are cur­rently bid­ding for pro­mo­tion to League 1 and play the sec­ond leg of their semi fi­nal tonight.

WWSET mem­ber Ian Keizner, who lives in Ger­rards Cross, said: “I heard about the po­si­tion that the Ger­rards Cross Youth Club was in and I thought it sounded like some­thing that the trust could get in­volved in.

“We are in a good po­si­tion to help out and can pro­vide youth work­ers and other ma­te­ri­als to help get it off the ground.”

He added: “It will give the youth in Ger­rards Cross some­thing to do, and it is es­pe­cially use­ful that it is com­ing in now in time for the sum­mer when oth­er­wise young peo­ple would be hang­ing around out­side.”

The club will run on Tues­days from 7pm un­til 9pm for years seven and eight, and on Thurs­days from 6pm un­til 8pm for years five and six.

If it proves popular, new ses­sions will open up for other age groups.

Tony As­ton of the man­age­ment com­mit­tee of the Ger­rards Cross Youth Club said: “We are de­lighted to be join­ing up with WWSET to pro­duce what we an­tic­i­pate will be a top qual­ity youth club ex­pe­ri­ence for young peo­ple in Ger­rards Cross.

“While the club an­tic­i­pates that WWSET’s sports fo­cus will be a ma­jor at­trac­tion for young peo­ple in Ger­rards Cross, it also looks for­ward to pro­vid­ing bal­anced youth club ac­tiv­i­ties for all mem­bers, both boys and girls.”

To find out more about join­ing, email

The 31-year-old has been in the play-offs twice be­fore with the Chair­boys but has failed to reach the show­piece on both oc­ca­sions.

His first dis­ap­point­ment was a 2-1 ag­gre­gate loss to Chel­tenham in 2006, while Wy­combe’s sec­ond at­tempt saw them de­feated 2-1 on ag­gre­gate again against Stock­port County in 2008.

Bloom­field is now 90 min­utes away from play­ing un­der the arch for the first time af­ter the Chair­boys se­cured a 3-2 victory over Ply­mouth on Satur­day in the first leg of their play-off semi­fi­nal.

An­other pos­i­tive re­sult in tonight’s (Thurs­day’s) re­turn fix­ture at Adams Park would ful­fill a life­long am­bi­tion for the mid­fielder.

He said: “It would be lovely to play at Wem­b­ley, it’s one thing that I’ve never done in my ca­reer and it’s the one thing I’ve al­ways wanted to do. It would be a sen­sa­tional way to end the tes­ti­mo­nial year if I can do it and it would be a great way to spend the bank hol­i­day week­end.

“Win­ning at Wem­b­ley with Wy­combe would mean a great WY­COMBE Wan­der­ers vet­eran Matt Bloom­field be­lieves that a win at Wem­b­ley will be the per­fect end to his tes­ti­mo­nial year. deal. I’ve been here a long time and been through a lot of ups and downs with the club. I know every­body be­hind the scenes and on the ter­races.”

The mid­fielder has been at the club since 2003 af­ter join­ing from Ip­swich Town and in that time has made more than 300 ap­pear­ances for the Blues, so he be­lieves that he is well placed to know what a win would mean for the south Bucks side.

He added: “I’m so lucky to have been able to play for a club that I love. I’ve re­ally be­come part of it here, so to be able to get us pro­moted would mean so much to me.

“We came so close to get­ting rel­e­gated last year and it was hor­ri­ble to spend that time at the club. I didn’t want to be part of the team that got rel­e­gated, so to get pro­moted this year would be amaz­ing.”

Pho­tos by Ac­tion Images/John Pa­trick Fletcher

STEP FROM WEM­B­LEY: (Clock­wise from above) Steven Craig scores Wy­combe Wan­der­ers’d ’ thirdhi d goal l again­sti Ply­mouthPl h on Satur­day; Matt Bloom­field is hop­ing for third time lucky in the play-offs; hope­ful Wy­combe fans in Ply­mouth

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