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Ben signs up with City

Talented Aylsham footballer Ben Bates has just signed for the Norwich City FC Academy.

From next season eight-year-old Ben will be training twice a week after school with the academy’s under-nines’ squad.

And he’ll be playing a fixture every Sunday which will involve travelling to top clubs including Liverpool and Manchester City and further afield, in Europe.

Ben has been playing for Aylsham FC since he was five when he was spotted by a scout from now-Premier League Norwich and signed to the club’s pre-academy, an experience which has already taken him to matches against teams including Watford, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur.

As an academy member Ben’s no longer allowed to play for Aylsham where his dad, Gus, is chairman of youth football. But he plans to cheer on his old team mates at their Saturday games.

Ben is one of 12 young footballers from across Norfolk who have just been signed to the academy.

He follows in the boot steps of another Aylsham FC player, Aylsham High student Sam Blair who will be signing a two-year paid scholarship contract on July 1 in the hope of being offered a professional contract.

Sam has already represented the Norwich City under-23 team this season alongside the likes of Grant Hanley and Nelson Oliviera.

The academy takes the cream of the county’s young players and helps them reach their full potential, with the prospect of a career in professional football for the very best.

But Gus said assessment of the young players’ was continual and could be ruthless, and each faced the possibility that they could be thrown out at any time.

“Ben’s got his feet firmly on the ground,” he said. “Whatever happens, this will have been a great experience for him.”

WORDS: JUST REGIONAL

DOTTED LINE: Ben Bates signing for the Norwich City FC Academy, with the club’s Scott Smith

HALLOWED TURF: The week before his signing Ben (back row far right) played on Norwich’s famous Carrow Road pitch for the first time as part of Aylsham under eights’ Kappa Cup-winning team who are pictured here with former Canaries stars Russell Martin (left) and Wes Hoolahan.

Mark Wallinger’s latest work arrives in Aylsham

One World, a new work by internationally-acclaimed artist Mark Wallinger, has arrived in Aylsham as a football!

The work was commissioned by Liverpool Biennial and 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary and was inspired by the famous Christmas truce of 1914, when soldiers from both sides emerged from the trenches and met in No Man’s Land to exchange gifts and play football.

Wallinger has taken the football itself as his canvas. He has transformed it into a globe of the world using photography courtesy of NASA. He also takes inspiration from the celebrated image of earth taken during the Apollo 8 lunar orbit on December 24 1968. Captured at the moment of earthrise, it is an image of enduring beauty, depicting a peaceful planet floating in the vastness of space. 

The Football Foundation, which has thousands of grant recipients across the country, selected Aylsham Community Sports which runs Youngs Park, home of Aylsham FC at random, to receive two of the balls. They will be on display at Youngs Park for a period before a decision is made about what to do with them.

Mark Wallinger said: “It is just over 100 years since the Armistice was agreed in 1918, and 50 years since the earthrise photograph was taken on Christmas Eve 1968. One World is my contribution to the legacy of those precious moments – spreading a message of peace for the world. Time to stop fighting and start playing; playing the beautiful game. Let’s take that image of a precious and fragile world into the future and celebrate the joy of playing together.”

Stephen French, Chairman of Aylsham Community Sports (Youngs Park), said: “We are delighted to have been chosen to receive two of these specially-commissioned footballs.

Youngs Park is open every weekend and anyone is welcome to come and see them”

WORDS COURTESY OF JUST REGIONAL

Young Norwich goalkeeper on hand at Youngs Park

Young Norwich City goalkeeper Aston Oxborough visited Youngs Park to help the under-12s celebrate a successful season, and to watch a new Aylsham FC goalkeeping group.

Oxborough, 20, who has recently celebrated a new contract with Norwich City tying him to the club until 2020, said: “I played my youth football for Hemsby Hornets, a time I will always remember. It’s great to see youngsters today here at Aylsham celebrating their season.

“I didn’t have facilities like these at Youngs Park when I was playing at this age so the boys and girls are very lucky.”

Reflecting on the coming season Oxborough said: “My plan is to get close to the first-team squad, play well in the under-23s, and maybe a loan spell somewhere will help me achieve this.”

And commenting on Angus Gunn, Norwich City’s first-choice goalkeeper last season, he added: “I have been at Norwich since I was 11 and Angus followed the same route as me. He gave me some technical advice and I hope to follow his path into the first team at Norwich”.

Also joining in the goalkeeping training session was Aylsham’s own Sam Blair. Sam, who is the goalkeeper for Norwich City under-16s, broke into the under-18 squad last season and played in the Hospital Cup win over their Ipswich Town counterparts.

Sam said: “Aylsham will always be my club and it was great to join in with all the young goalkeepers this evening. It is good to see that the club hold training sessions for goalkeepers. Big thanks to Aston for supporting them this evening.”

WORDS AND PICTURES – JUST REGIONAL

Aston Oxborough and Sam Blair with some of the Aylsham FC goalkeepers

Aston Oxborough passing on tips to six year old Erin-Rose Craynor.

Aston Oxborough with some of the players and coaches of Aylsham FC Under 12s.

 

 

Aylsham FC bags £2000 from Tesco’s community grant scheme

Aylsham FC is delighted to announce it has bagged £2000 from Tesco’s Bags of Help community grant scheme.

Bags of Help is run in partnership with environmental charity Groundwork, and sees grants raised from the sale of carrier bags awarded to thousands of local community projects every year. Since launching in 2015, it’s provided more than £43 million to over 10,000 local community projects.

Millions of shoppers have voted in Tesco stores up and down the country and it can now be revealed Aylsham FC has been awarded £2000.

Work will now begin on bringing the project to life.

Club chairman Ian Potter said: “Many thanks to all of the Aylsham folk who used their blue tokens to help our project.

“We have worked hard since Youngs Park opened to ensure that it is a safe environment for all of the young children who use it. Now thanks to this grant we can finally fence off the final part of the facility to keep our children safe from any traffic”.

Alec Brown, Tesco’s Head of Community, said:

“Bags of Help has been a fantastic success and we’ve been overwhelmed by the response from customers. It’s such a special scheme because it’s local people who decide how the money will be spent in their community. We can’t wait to see the projects come to life.”

Voting ran in stores throughout November and December with customers choosing which local project they would like to get the top award using a token given to them at the checkout.

Tesco customers get the chance to vote for three different groups each time they shop. Every other month, when votes are collected, three groups in each of Tesco’s regions are awarded funding.

Groundwork’s National Chief Executive, Graham Duxbury, said:

“Bags of Help continues to enable local communities up and down the UK to improve the local spaces and places that matter to them. The diversity of projects that are being funded shows that local communities have a passion to create something great in their area. We are pleased to be able to be a part of the journey and provide support and encouragement to help local communities thrive.”

Funding is available to community groups and charities looking to fund local projects that bring benefits to communities. Anyone can nominate a project and organisations can apply online. To find out more visit www.tesco.com/bagsofhelp.

Ian Potter – who expressed his thanks to all who voted for the project.

 

Aylsham FC calls out for votes to bag a share of Tesco fund

Aylsham FC is bidding to bag a massive cash boost from the Tesco Bags of Help initiative.

Tesco teamed up with Groundwork to launch its community funding scheme, which sees grants of £4,000, £2,000 and £1,000 – raised from carrier bag sales in Tesco stores – being awarded to local community projects.

Three groups in every Tesco region have been shortlisted to receive the cash award and shoppers are being invited to head along to Tesco stores to vote for who they think should take away the top grant.

Our football club is one of the groups on the shortlist.

We are looking to receive a grant to help towards fencing off the part of Youngs Park which is adjacent to the road. This is a big project and we are a pleased that we now have the chance to make it a reality and make the field a more enclosed and safer environment for children.

Ian Potter, chairman of Aylsham FC said: “We are delighted and extremely grateful to Tesco for this opportunity. We have achieved much since opening Youngs Park but desperately want to enclose the park to make it safer and more secure for our youngsters.”

Voting is open in the Tesco store throughout November and December. Customers will cast their vote using a token given to them at the check-out in store each time they shop.

Tesco’s Bags of Help project has already delivered over £36 million to nearly 8,000 projects up and down the UK. Tesco customers get the chance to vote for three different groups every time they shop. Every other month, when votes are collected, three groups in each of Tesco’s regions will be awarded funding.

Alec Brown, Head of Community at Tesco, said: “We are absolutely delighted to open the voting for November and December. There are some fantastic projects on the shortlists and we can’t wait to see these come to life in hundreds of communities.”

Groundwork’s National Chief Executive, Graham Duxbury, said: “We’ve been thrilled to see the diversity of projects that have applied for funding, ranging from outdoor classrooms, sports facilities, community gardens, play areas and everything in between.

“We’re looking forward to learning the results of the customer vote and then supporting each group to bring their project to life.”

 

Under 10s come together to give NCFC Futures game

On Monday, a combination of Aylsham Under 10s Cubs and Under 10s Atheltic players joined for a match against the Norwich City Futures team at Colney.

The boys did the club proud with an excellent team game as well as some very impressive individual performances.

They all came off with a smile on their faces and there was a real team spirit despite the fact they were playing together for the first time.

A big thank you all of the parents who got their children there on time despite it being an early kick off!

 

AFC Youth to become smoke free club

Aylsham Football Club is to become a smoke free site thanks to a tie up with a county wide project which discourages smoking outdoors.

The Norfolk Smokefree Sidelines project aims to get people to keep their cigarettes away from football clubs, both inside and outside.

The theory is that children and young people who see adults using tobacco think that smoking is more common than it actually is. In addition smoking in front of children and young people can make them think that it is normal, acceptable or OK to smoke.

There is also the well known documented issue with second hand smoke.

Smokefree Sidelines is a voluntary scheme and has come about as a result of a collaboration between Norfolk County FA, Active Norfolk, Smoke Free Norfolk, Healthy Norwich at Norwich CCG, Norfolk County Council Public Health and Broadland District Council.

Gus Bates, youth section chairman at Aylsham, said: “The youth sides practice hard and are well coached and looked after at Aylsham.

“But we also want to make sure these young boys and girls can play their football in the healthiest environment possible – so having no smoking on our sidelines during training and games

or indeed anywhere else on the site, has clear and obvious benefits.

“We’re really pleased to be part of this scheme and I know other clubs in the county are doing the same.

“I’d encourage as many clubs as possible to find out more from the team at Norfolk FA.”

Aylsham will be a Broadland District Champion of the Smokefree Sidelines project and will advertise the scheme at its games using promotional flags and branded tee shirts.

The Chair of NHS Norwich CCG, Tracy Williams, said: “Children are influenced by what they see, they copy what adults do and young people are most at risk of becoming smokers themselves if they grow up in communities where smoking is the norm.

“The most effective way to prevent young people from becoming smokers is to encourage adult smokers to quit and to remove young people’s exposure to smoking.”

Words courtesy of Just Regional. 

FA praise AFC summer tournament

At the annual Aylsham Football Club summer tournament FA representatives were on hand to assess the event and to see that it was in line with FA guidelines.

The report the club has received makes for excellent reading with the FA official saying: “I thought the running of the event was brilliant all – club members were very welcoming to not just me but to all of the teams involved. I heard lots of positive chat about the tournament and didn’t see any issues while I was present.

“I can’t express enough how well run this was, so massive congratulations to Aylsham Football Club!”

Youth section chairman, Gus Bates,  was delighted with the feedback saying: “Many months of planning goes into this tournament by the committee along with all of the volunteers that come together in the days prior, during the weekend and the days after. Everyone deserves a huge pat on the back.”

 

Penalty heartbreak for under 9s in first final

Aylsham Athletic under 9s played in their first ever final this afternoon (July 15), but unfortunately lost on a penalty shoot-out after drawing 0-0 with Old Catton.

Once the tears of disappointment have dried up, the boys should be extremely proud of themselves after winning seven and drawing two of their nine games at the Cromer FC tournament held in Holt.

The team would like to send their best wishes to Harry who plays for North Walsham who received a nasty injury.

Squad today was: Harry Carver, Tom Huttley, Dom Whiting-Smith, Bailey Rushmer, Kobi Vaso and George Todd.

Aylsham Athletic Under 9s with their runners up trophies.

2017/18 sponsorship opportunities released

We are grateful to all of our sponsors who support our club in various ways.

If there are any businesses or individuals who are keen to get involved you can view our latest opportunities here: