Senior men’s football will return to Asfordby next season after a flourishing junior club unveiled plans to launch two new sides.
Two years after Asfordby Amateurs withdrew from senior football, Asfordby FC, who have 18 junior and youth teams playing at the Hoby Road ground, will be represented by senior league teams for the first time.
The first team will play in Division One of the Leicestershire Senior League, while a Development side will enter the bottom rung of the North Leicestershire League.
Jon Allsop has made the short trip from Holwell Sports to take charge of the first team having managed Holwell’s reserves side last season, and enjoyed success in his previous post as manager of Bottesford.
“I’m excited by the challenge of starting a new team,” Allsop said. “I’ve been overwhelmed by the response from the local borough and we really hope to build something here.
“I have been very impressed with the facilities, the forward thinking attitude of the club and the way I’ve been welcomed into Asfordby.”
The development side will be led by Simon Atherley, now in his 10th season at the club, who acknowledged the size of the task for the village club.
“As a club we have not previously been involved in adult football. The old Asfordby Amateurs side was a completely different entity and actually that was no overlap at all in terms of coaching or management.
“The development squad gives lads the chance to continue playing a good standard of football, while they learn the adult game, however our aim is to develop as many of these players into the first team as possible.”
The move is a shot in the arm for local senior football which has been in steady decline for several seasons as teams struggle for players and volunteers.
But club chairman Andy Harrison believes the development squad will give Asfordby a sustainable model.
“We have spoken about this in great depth and we believe that because the development team caters for our under 16s, 17s and 18s, they will also be available for the first team so we will have enough senior players for this team as well.
“We feel the time is right now with the club having taken out the lease for the ground and facilities.
“We have been thinking about it over the past couple of seasons because there was no pathway to senior football for our under 18s when they finished.”
Pre-season training began last Thursday at Hoby Road and continues weekly at 6.30pm on Thursdays.
Anyone interested in playing for either team is invited to attend, and both managers will be available for a chat.
Or call Simon Atherley on 07931 147156 or Jon Allsop on 07531 450022 for more details.