Welcome Mansfield Town ACFC

Mansfield Town Ability Counts FC to join the SYACL for 2023/4!

It’s a warm welcome back to the former Sherwood Colliery AFC!

www.southyorkshireabilitycountsleague.com is delighted to welcome Mansfield Town Ability Counts FC back to our league from next season.

We say “welcome back” because some of our will remember Sherwood Colliery Ability Counts FC as a former member of our competition.

www.syacl.com Editor Margaret Gregory spoke with Mansfield Town ACFC Chair Vernon Thompson about his club and started by asking him how the club came into being.

“I was supporting two young men to football in Newark, which was an hour each way on the bus,” Vernon told us. “Once there the young men didn’t really get much game time and on the bus journey home they wished that there was a local club to meet their needs.”

The journey began in March 2010 when Vernon set up Eden Mansfield Disability FC. “The club started with just 6 players and quickly affiliated with Nottinghamshire FA,” Vernon remembers. “The club began to grow and had a little success, but when we went under the Sherwood Colliery banner the club pushed on a little more with word getting out and we began to grow with an influx of players.”

“Sherwood Colliery Ability Counts FC had a very successful period winning most events and tournaments that we entered,” Vernon continued. “We also won the National Respect Award in 2017 plus the Nottinghamshire FA club of the year in 2019.”

“Vernon also won an award for an Outstanding Contribution to Disability Football in 2019, but it wasn’t always straightforward. “Over time our players started ageing and some left, leaving us short of players,” Vernon explained. “So, we introduced a juniors team to try to bring some youngsters in with the idea that when they were old enough they would make the transition to the Adults. The Juniors were set up just before the Covid outbreak which set the plan back for a while.”

“However, we picked up where we left off after the Covid restrictions and had a steady influx of Junior players,” Vernon told www.syacl.com. “In September 2022 we had a meeting with David Sharpe at Mansfield Town FC, and we were lucky enough to be taken under the Mansfield banner. We’re currently finishing our season as Sherwood Colliery as we started under that name.”

So, what of the future? “We look forward to our next chapter as Mansfield Town Ability Counts FC next season in the South Yorkshire Ability Counts League,” Vernon explained.

“Since joining with Mansfield Town, we’ve seen an increase in players wanting to play for a club they support and to wear the famous Yellow & Blue kit. The facilities we get to use with the backdrop of the stadium seems to have an inspiring effect on the players too.”

“As a Club we looked to re-join the SYACL as it’s a very well-run league, with some fantastic clubs,” he added. “Our players also have some friends they have remained in contact with from Club Doncaster Titans and City Knights – to name just two.”

What can the SYACL expect from Mansfield Town ACFC? “We will be entering 6 teams into the League, made up of two 7’s, two 5’s & 2 junior teams. Our players are a friendly bunch who work for each other, and they try to play the beautiful game the right way, showing respect to opposition & officials.”

“We are most looking forward to catching up with old friends and meeting new ones. Sadly, some are not with us anymore – but we do remember them.”

“We wish you all success for this season and we look forward to seeing you all next season,” Vernon concluded, adding, “Thank you to Mike and the committee for the opportunity.”

“Our players are so excited!”

Commenting on the return of Vernon and his teams, S Yorks ACL Chairman, Mike Stylianou told us, “the league are very pleased and excited that Sherwood Colliery AC – to become Mansfield Town ACFC  – will be rejoining the SYACL next season.

All our committee members and clubs are in agreement that they will be a positive addition to the league. They are a very well organised club, who share the same values and philosophies by our league members.

We look forward to their return and take it as a compliment that a club from outside our region has opted to join our league.