Pink Pages     MyLocalHero 2022     Advertise with us     


CHANGING THE GAME: Berkhamsted Raiders aiming to improve adult grassroots football

 Published on: 28th October 2020   |   By: Jake Levison   |   Category: Uncategorized

Berkhamsted Raiders are working hard to reverse a ‘steady decline’ in grassroots football by providing more opportunities in the local community.

Participation in the traditional grassroots men’s adult football leagues has been in decline for many years, say the club.

The Berkhamsted Sunday League used to comprise of 60-plus teams but is now down to just 33, covering Berkhamsted, Chesham, Aylesbury and Hemel Hempstead.

This has been caused by several factors, including; changes in lifestyle and work patterns, increased competition from other sports, the costs of running football clubs and a decline in pitches and facilities due to under-investment.

Berkhamsted Raiders has been working hard to develop pathways for its players, many of whom have been with the club since the Under 8s, to continue to play the game once they move beyond their U18s teams.

The Berkhamsted Raiders Senior team plays in the Spartan South Midlands League on Saturday afternoons, with home matches played at the Orbital Stadium in Kings Langley.

With Steve McHugh, Raiders head coach, at the helm, the Raiders’ ethos is maintained and they have been able to maximise the number of Raiders and ex-Raiders players in the squad.

With football fans not yet allowed in stadiums to watch the likes of Watford, Chelsea or Luton, local football teams like Berkhamsted Raiders currently offer the only opportunity to watch live football in a COVID-safe environment.

The club has also recently set up a reserve team for Gossoms End FC, who compete in the Berkhamsted Sunday League.

This provides another opportunity for local ex-Raiders to continue to play football to a high standard, but who may not be at the right level for the senior team.

Keith Pollard, Berkhamsted Raiders chair of trustees: said: “As part of our strategy to improve pitch facilities, we’ve been working with local community partners to gain £10,000 grants from the FA to improve pitches in Wigginton and Cheddington, as well as working extensively with the local councils and other stakeholders to develop new facilities in the Berkhamsted area.”

If you are interested in watching the Berkhamsted Raiders Senior team play, they are playing on Saturday, November 21 at 3pm against MK Galacticos.

Tickets are only £3 per adult and free for under 16s.

Sign up to get weekly local news updates & offers:

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


Leave a comment



This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.