Staffs County League Fans’ Guide 2017

Welcome to the seventh edition of the Staffs County League fans’ guide. The divisional structure has reverted back to just one Division Two, from regionalised North and South divisions. This is largely due to a lack of teams forthcoming from South Staffordshire. All existing teams from the previous North and South divisions merge into one Division Two.
Please note that this is the provisional guide and subject to change during the close season. Please let me know of any errors, omissions or changes. Also note that the official league website does not suffix reserve teams with the word Reserves.

The Groundhog

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The Staffordshire County League sits at step seven of the non league pyramid. It is classed in the 7A category, the highest classification of step seven.

List of Clubs for the 2017-18 Season

Staffs County Teams 2017-18

Final Standings in 2016-17

Staffs County League Premier Table 2016-17

Staffs County League First DivisionTable 2016-17

Staffs County League Second Division N&S Table 2016-17

Map of the Clubs in the Staffordshire County League

Blue – Premier, Red– Division One Green– Division Two

Staffs County map 2017-18

Summary of Divisional changes

Premier Division

Abbey Hulton United leave the League, after 30 years’ service, to join the North West Counties League. Major improvement work continues on their Birches Head Road ground, with upgrades to their car park, hard standing, and a stand placed on the Redhills Road side. Lights aren’t up at time of going to press, but a base for a further stand has been laid.
Cheadle SMU folded early last season and Hilton Harriers are moving to the Central Midlands League. This left three spaces, which meant reprieves for bottom two clubs Eccleshall Reserves and Alsager Reserves. Old favourites Foley Meir (formerly just Foley) return to the top flight with runners-up Stone Dominoes Reserves. Joining them is the resurrected Eastwood Hanley, who finished third.

First Division

Foley Meir, Stone Dominoes Reserves and Eastwood Hanley leave, promoted to the Premier Division. Tunstall Town, erstwhile worst club in England, win Division Two North. Their promotion comes with a sponsorship deal and a name change to OSSMA Blurton TT FC (Ormiston Sir Stanley Matthews Academy Blurton Tunstall Town Football Club, to give them their full name). They moved to the other end of Stoke, from North to South of the city. Shenstone Pathfinder join them in the First, winning Division Two South. After a name change to Pathfinder last season, they have reinserted the Shenstone as a prefix for 17-18.

Hawkins Sports resigned from the league last season. MMU also depart due to the University closing their campus. With the three promotions to the Premier, this left room for two more promotions from each of Divisions Two North and South. From the North Foley Meir Reserves and Leek CSOB Reserves come up in 2nd and 3rd place respectively and Brereton Social and Walsall Phoenix Reserves come up from the South in 2nd and 3rd place respectively.

Division Two

Due to the folding of both Barton United Reserves and Stone Old Alleynians Reserves last season Division Two South finished with just eight clubs. The lack of clubs from the south has forced the league back to the one division two. Norton AFC and Congleton Rovers disappear. AFC Fenton join from the Coors Sunday League Division Four and will play at Longton Rugby Club. Goldenhill Wanderers will be playing at Trubshaw Cross and not their regular venue of Sandyford Cricket club. Hardman Development FC change their name to Norton Development FC (NDFC) and will play at Longton Rugby Club, along with AFC Fenton, but their juniors teams will play at Community Drive (defunct Norton United’s old ground), but not on the main pitch; on a newly created pitch to the side of the cricket ground.

Key Facts for 2017-18

  • Ashbourne are still sharing with Rocester, while work progresses on their new Shrovetide Stadium.
  • Eastwood Hanley are at Wellbeing Park, Yarnfield, this season. Stone Old Alleynians’ complex, but on a satellite pitch. However, they are playing two friendlies at their old venue of Trentmill Road (well worth a visit) and two friendlies at Northwood Stadium (£G pitch).
  • Keele University play on a grass pitch at Keele Sports Centre but have access to a floodlit 3G pitch that has a seated covered stand.
  • Tunstall Town play at the OSSMA Academy on a grass pitch but have access to a floodlit 3G pitch.
  • Goldenhill Wanderers are now at Trubshaw Cross, NOT Sandyford Cricket Club.
  • Hardman Development FC (HDFC) have changed name to Norton Development FC (NDFC). They will now play at Longton Rugby Club, along with AFC Fenton, but their junior teams will play at Community Drive, but not the main pitch, on a new pitch set up where the cricket ground is, the cricket team having merged with Bagnall and departed. For hoppers who never got to visit defunct Norton United, it is now the home of Stoke City Ladies, so still an opportunity to get the ground in.
  • Red Star Alma move home grounds to the old Bloxwich United ground, the Old Red Lion Ground.
  • Prison side Featherstone rejoin the Staffs County; they will play all their home games at HMP Featherstone, due to the substantial risk of there being considerably less than 11 players at the end of an away game.

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Paper
Staffs County League grounds don’t generally sell newspapers or reams of A4. However, most in the top two divisions will have toilet paper.

Did you mean Programmes?
Teams who have stated they will be issuing programmes for next season are Florence and Wolstanton United in the Premier and Penkridge in the First.
See table below for programmes, lights, stands and other points of note. I haven’t put notes for grounds that are shared with higher placed teams.

SCSL 2017-18 Progslightsstands Prem

SCSL 2017-18 Progslightsstands First

SCSL 2017-18 Progslightsstands Second

Groundhopping

Premier Division

Just concentrating of those grounds that aren’t shared with higher placed first teams and ignoring Ashbourne at Rocester, there are some great venues in the Premier League. Probably the best is Division One Champions Foley Meir’s Whitcombe Road venue. A ground full of character with a small original seated stand, elevated grass banking on two sides and some great views. Florence is another favourite of mine, with an original covered terrace stand and good views. Knypersley Victoria played at step five for a long while, and so their ground has lights and a small stand behind one goal. One side backs on to the cricket pitch. Pointon Park is worth a visit, it has lights but no stand as yet. While Eastwood Hanley are sharing at Yarnfields, it’s worth trying to make it for a friendly at their spiritual home of Trentmill Road. Remains of the old terrace are still there to stand on. Of the rest I’d recommend Wolstanton United; and they issue a programme, which is a bonus.

Other Divisions

Both Keele University and OSSMA Blurton TT have access to two grounds. Look out for 7.45 kick offs which will be at their 3G pitches. Keele’s has a stand, albeit an Arena style one. Brereton Social’s Red Lion ground is a cracker, with lights, stand and views. Audley’s Town Fields is also worth a visit, with two small bus shelter stands.
Acorn Albion play at the St Georges Park multi pitch venue in Barton-under-Needwood. They play on a floodlit pitch. The other venue of note is AFC Fenton, who are using Longton Rugby Club.

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List of clubs by division

Premier Division

Alsager Town Reserves
Founded: 1968
Ground: Wood Park Stadium (Alsager Town, NWCL One), Wood Park, Alsager ST7 2DP.

more photos…100_5312

Ashbourne FC
Founded: 1954
Ground: Hillfield(Rocester FC, Mid Prem) Mill Street, Rocester, ST14 5JX

more photos…

Side

Ball Haye Green
Founded: 1880
Ground: Ball Haye Green Sports & Social, Leek ST13 6BH
Fully railed ground with one covered long stand, with benches and chairs.

more photos…

Ball Haye Green Apr 2009 001

 

Cheadle Town
Founded: 1948
Ground: Thorley Drive, Cheadle, Staffordshire. ST10 1SA
Railed pitch, no stands, no floodlights, nice venue though.

more photos…

KODAK Digital Still Camera  

Eastwood Hanley
Founded: 2013
Ground: Wellbeing Park, Yarnfield Lane, Yarnfield, ST15 0NF

Stone Dominoes (1)

Eccleshall AFC Reserves
Founded: 1983
Ground: Pershall Park (Eccleshall AFC, NWCL One), Chester Road, Pershall, Staffordshire ST21 6NE
Seated stand, covered terrace and floodlights.

more photos…

Pershall Park 11

Florence
Founded: 1995
Ground: Florence Sports & Social, Lightwood Road, Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, ST3 4JS Railed pitch, small stand, no floodlights

more photos…

KODAK Digital Still Camera

Foley Meir
Founded: 1947
Ground: Macintosh Arena, Whitcombe Road, Meir , ST3 6AO
One of the best grounds in the Staffs County League, small quirky stand in the corner, raised banks and good views.

more photos…Foley FC Whitcombe Road (22)

Hanley Town Reserves
Founded: 1966
Ground: Potteries Park (Hanley Town, NWCL Prem), Abbey Lane, Bucknall, Stoke-on-Trent ST2 8AU .

more photos…Hanley Town Abbey Lane (12)

Knypersley Victoria
Founded: 2013
Ground: Knypersley Sports & Social, Tunstall Road,ST8 6JP
Small stand behind goal, thin terrace along side, ground shared with cricket club. Floodlights.

more photos…

Main Stand

Leek County School Old Boys (CSOB)
Founded 1945
Ground: Pointon Park, Felthouse Lane, Cheddleton, Staffordshire, ST13 7BT
Great new venue, railed pitch no stand as yet, floodlights

more photos…

DSC01912

Newcastle Town Reserves
Founded: 1964
Ground: Drayton Beaumont Stadium (Newcastle Town, NPL One South), Buckmaster Road, Clayton, Newcastle-under-Lyme, ST5 3BX
Stand and covered terrace around velodrome, floodlights.

more photos…

DSC01274

Redgate Clayton
Founded: 1969
Ground: Clayton Community Centre, Northwood Lane, Clayton, ST5 4BN.
Fully railed pitch, no  stands, no floodlights.
more photos…

100_7079

Silverdale Athletic
Founded: 1980
Ground: Kents Lane Football Ground, Sutton Lane, Sutton Avenue, Newcastle-u-Lyme, ST5 6TA
Part railed pitch, nice new clubhouse, looks like more development is imminent.

more photos…

Silverdale Athletic (3).JPG

Stone Dominoes
Founded: 1987
Ground: Wellbeing Park, Yarnfield Lane, Yarnfield, ST15 0NF

Stone Dominoes (1)

Walsall Phoenix
Founded: 1897
Ground: Aldridge Stick & Wicket Club, Aldridge, Walsall, WS9 8NH
Wolstanton United
Founded: 1946
Ground: Bradwell Community Centre, Riceyman Road, Bradwell, Newcastle-under-Lyme, ST5 8LD Fully railed pitch, some banking, no floodlights.
Small area of hard standing and small cover

more photos…Wolstanton United (5)

Division One

Abbey Hulton United Reserves
Founded: 1947
Ground: Birches Head Road, Abbey Hulton, ST2 8DD
Arena Stand, elevated views to one side.

more photos

DSC02680


Audley
Founded: 1895
Ground: Town Fields, Old Road, Bignall End, ST7 8QH
Railed pitch, two small bus shelters stands either side of dug outs, no floodlights

more photos…100_7461

Brereton Social

Founded: 1899
Ground: Red Lion Ground, Armitage Lane, Brereton, Rugeley
Great ground, small stand fully railed and elevated views.

Brereton Social (13)

Cheadle Town Reserves
Founded: 1948
Ground: Thorley Drive, Cheadle, Staffordshire. ST10 1SA
Railed pitch, no stands, no floodlights

more photos…

KODAK Digital Still Camera

 

Foley Meir Reserves
Founded: 1947
Ground: Macintosh Arena, Whitcombe Road, Meir , ST3 6AO
One of the best grounds in the Staffs County League, small quirky stand in the corner, raised banks and good views.

more photos…Foley FC Whitcombe Road (22)

Keele University
Founded: 1950
Ground: Sports Centre, Keele University, ST5 5BD
Railed pitch, no stand, grass banking behind goal. 3G pitch has floodlights and Arena Stand

more photos grass…

Keele Uni FC (2)

more photos 3G…

DSC01638

Leek County School Old Boys (CSOB) Reserves
Founded 1945
Ground: Pointon Park, Felthouse Lane, Cheddleton, Staffordshire, ST13 7BT
Great new venue, railed pitch no stand as yet, floodlights

more photos…

DSC01912

Market Drayton Tigers
Founded: 1975
Ground: Greenfields Sports Ground, Greenfield Lane, Market Drayton, TF9 3SL (adjoining pitch next to Market Drayton Town’s ground)

Milton United

Founded: 2013
Ground: Hardman Centre Millrise Road, Milton, Stoke-on-Trent, ST2 7DN

more photos…

20140505_182114

OSSMA Blurton TT FC
Founded: 1949 (As Tunstall Town)
Ground: OSSMA Blurton, Beaconsfield Drive, Stoke-on-Trent, ST3 3JD

OSSMA Blurton grass

OSSMA Blurton 3G

Penkridge FC
Founded: 2015
Ground: Monkton Recreation Centre, Pinfold Lane, Penkridge, Stafford, ST19 5QP

Redgate Clayton Reserves
Founded: 1969
Ground: Northwood Lane, Clayton, Newcastle. ST5 4BN
100_7079

 

Shenstone Pathfinder
Founded: 1968
Ground: Shenstone Sports & Social Club, Birmingham Road, Shenstone, WS14 0JR

Shenstone Pathfinder

Walsall Phoenix
Founded: 1897
Ground: Aldridge Stick & Wicket Club, Aldridge, Walsall, WS9 8NH

Wolverhampton Sporting Community U21s
Founded: 2001
Ground: Great Wryley FC, Hazel Lane, Great Wyrley, WS6 6AA

more photos…

wsc (4)

Division Two

Acorn Albion FC
Founded: 2012
Ground: St Georges Park, Newborough Road Needwood, Burton, DE13 9PDSt Georges Park5 2013

AFC Alsager
Founded: 2012
Ground: Alsager Leisure Centre Hassall Road, Alsager, Cheshire,ST7 2HP

AFC Alsager

AFC Fenton
Founded: 2016
Ground: Longton Rugby Club, Sir Stanley Matthews Way, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 8WG

Longton AG3 2013

 

Audley Reserves
Founded: 1895
Ground: Town Fields, Old Road, Bignall End, ST7 8QH
Railed pitch, two small bus shelters stands either side of dug outs, no floodlights

more photos…100_7461

Cannock United
Founded: 2014
Ground: Norton Canes Community Centre, Brownhills Road, Norton Canes, WS11 9SF

Chesterton AFC

Founded: 2015
Ground: Red Street Community Centre, Talke Road, Newcastle-u- Lyme, ST5 7AH

Chesterton AFC

Featherstone FC
Founded: 1986
Ground: HMP Featherstone, New Road, Featherstone, Wolverhampton, WV10 7PU

Goldenhill Wanderers
Founded: 2015 (originally 1887)
Ground: Trubshaw Cross, Westport Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST6 4JF

Goldenhill Wanderers (Trubshaw Cross)

(pic not necessarily the pitch used. Part of wider sports complex)

Hilton Harriers Athletic Reserves
Founded: 1998
Ground: The Mease Pavilion The Mease,, Hilton Derbyshire, DE65 5LS
(pic courtesy of Jamie Atkinson)

HILTON HARRIERS

Keele University Reserves
Founded: 1950
Ground: Sports Centre, Keele University, ST5 5BD Railed pitch, floodlights, no stand, grass banking behind goal.

more photos…

Keele Uni FC (2)

DSC01637

Milton United Reserves
Founded: 2013
Ground: Hardman Centre Millrise Road, Milton, Stoke-on-Trent, ST2 7DN

more photos…

20140505_182114

Norton Development FC
Founded: 2015
Ground: Longton Rugby Club, Sir Stanley Matthews Way, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 8WG

Longton AG3 2013

Red Star Alma
Founded: 2010
Ground: Old Red Lion Ground, Somerfield Road, Bloxwich, WS3 2EJ

more photos…

Bloxwich United Red Lion Ground (6)

 

 

Staffordshire Moorlands
Founded: 2016
Ground: Waterhouses Sports Pavillion, Portland Place, Waterhouses, ST10 3HU

 

Whittington FC
Founded: 1981
Ground: Beacon Park, Greenhough Road, Lichfield, WS13 7AW or
Whittington Barracks, Chester Road, Lichfield, WS14 9PY

Whittington Beacon Park2

Historical Records

Previous winners of League and Cup

SCSL records 1

SCSL records 2

Contributions

Thanks to Jamie Atkinson and Steve Hardy for contributing photos
(Jamie- Hilton Harriers; Steve – Staffs LA (Longton Rugby Club).

Thanks also to Shenstone Pathfinder and OSSMA Blurton twitter accounts who provided photos of their grounds.

Thanks to Dennis Vickers (club secretary for Norton United) for the Staffs County Handbook 2017-18 and Mark Wood for invaluable inside knowledge.

Links Staffs County League Official Website

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About thegroundhog

I live underground, occasionally popping up at non-league and Welsh grounds. I live on a diet of insects, small rodents, nil-nils and post and pre-match angst.
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