Historic merger for oldest Hucknall clubs

Kaylum Mitchell on the ball for Linby in a match against Eastwood at Church Lane.
Kaylum Mitchell on the ball for Linby in a match against Eastwood at Church Lane.

Linby Colliery Welfare Football Club have announced an historic link-up with local youth club Hucknall Harriers FC from next season.

That will see the amalgamation of two of the Hucknall area’s biggest and oldest football clubs, which will see massive benefits for both of the clubs and the local community as a whole.

Hucknall Harriers’ new main base will be at Church Lane, the home ground of Linby.

The ground is currently in the early stages of plans to develop the facilities, once finished these will include a new club house, new dressing rooms and the addition of floodlights.

Installing floodlights will open up a range of new opportunities at the ground with night matches and training sessions being an option throughout the year for all of the teams as well as filling one of the criteria for the Linby men’s team if they wanted to get promoted up the divisions.

Hucknall Harriers’ set-up has been in existence for well over 30 years and at present they have a soccer school, boys teams at U8, U10, U12, U15 and U16s level as well as youth teams and an U12s girls team.

The Harriers will change their name to Hucknall and Linby Harriers and will continue to run teams up to the U12s age group as well as continuing their soccer school.

When the boys and girls reach the U13s group, they will play under the Linby Colliery Welfare Youth banner.

Linby already run two men’s U18s teams and the objective is that the older boys will eventually feed into these teams and subsequently into the two men’s teams that Linby currently run.

The club’s long term plan will be to set up U19s and U21s teams, but that decision depends on the time scale of the floodlights being erected.

The youth sections of both the Hucknall & Linby Harriers and Linby CW Youth will be run by the present Harriers committee.

When it is practical, teams will play and train at Church Lane as well as having the option to play at several grounds in Hucknall.

This expansion of the club is just the first step in a long term plan.

The club hope to eventually have teams playing at all age groups and they also intend to expand the women’s arm of the club, with teams at a number of levels planned.

Linby’s secretary Adrian Ward said: “We have had several very positive meetings with the Harriers committee and it is very clear to all involved that the two clubs fit together perfectly.

“Harriers want to see their players move onto to adult football and we were passionate about trying to expand our club to embrace the community.

“We also wanted to start a soccer school and ladies section up, so to have experienced people and an established set-up involved was a massive plus.

“I must thank Alex Paterson and Andy Ainsworth (the Harriers chairman) for the work they have both put in to make this merger happen.”

Adrian revealed the merging Harriers club will adopt Linby’s Red and Black colours.

The club is in search of sponsors for next season as they look to kit out all 10 teams in new red and black kits.

If you are interested in sponsoring the club and helping local grassroots football then please ring Linby chairman Dave Elson on 07791317632 or secretary Adrian Ward on 07932 591068 for further details.