Rooks put focus on player development

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As Steve Brown’s work begins to form the squad for next season, the focus will be on developing young players coming through the system, improving retained players and local talent. The Manager and Board have looked at the overall men’s football budget and put more of into the Academy (including bringing in our first ever full-time Academy Manager Jay Lovett) and coaching.

The club commented “We all got together and agreed it’s time to take a longer term view of how we create a winning First Team. Over time we will build our off-field revenue to allow more funds for the playing budget, but while we do, we feel we’ll get more value from the money we do have by putting the focus more on player development than trying to buy in talent. This is going to mean a lower headline figure for the playing budget, but hopefully, an improved First Team overall with exciting young talent to the fore.

The new 3G all-weather facility is a crucial building block in this plan. It means that all teams will train right here in Lewes on a state-of-the-art surface but it also means that significant savings are made in the cost of training which helps to build the club’s overall football spend. It also gives a superb new base to the Academy and, along with the addition of Jay Lovett, is already attracting talented young players to the club. The 3G is completely self-funding and, once all the Owner/investors have been repaid, it will start to bring revenue benefits to the club too as more money can be put into football development.

 

 

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Lewes announce Management line up for next season

steve-brown-1-600x400Lewes Community Football Club are pleased to announce that Steve Brown has been appointed First team manager for the 2015/16 season.  After joining the Rooks as Interim Manager in February, Steve secured Ryman Premier League football with some excellent wins against Bury Town, AFC Hornchurch, Enfield Town and Bognor Regis Town.

Lewes FC Chairman, Stuart Fuller commented on the news that Steve has agreed to take the role permanently: “Steve is an A-Licence coach and we were really impressed with the way he approached a difficult situation. We set Steve a simple objective of retaining our position in the league and he approached that with a level of professionalism that impressed the board. Steve is very ambitious and has the same focus on developing some of our young talent as the board do.”

imageSteve will be joined in the dug out next season by Lewes stalwart Jay Lovett, who will also be responsible for the Lewes Academy. Last season’s assistant, Dave Jupp, has joined Ebbsfleet United and we wish Dave well and thank him for the hard work and efforts last season.

“We are very excited to have secured the services as Jay, not only as our Academy Director and a defender, but also as Steve’s right-hand man. His academy at Eastbourne Borough was recognised as one of the best in Sussex, and we know all too well of his quality as a player,” commented Stuart Fuller.

First team coach Steve Eke will take charge of the Development Squad for the forthcoming season, following Gary Croydon’s decision to move on from the role. We thank Gary for his service last season and wish him well for the future.  The club are currently looking to appoint a new manager for the Under18 side after Dave Amiet decided to step down.  Dave will, however, continue to be involved with the club.

With such a strong team of highly qualified coaches, we are very excited for the future of the club.  Last season we saw Jordan Badger, Ronnie Conlon, Dan Huet and Josh Marshall make their first team debuts after progressing through the junior teams. With the opening of our new 3G facility, a new Academy Director and a fresh approach to coaching through the club, we hope to welcome significantly more home-grown players in the coming years.

The rest of the management and coaching team will be announced in due course.

 

Rooks on look out for new youth manager

Lewes Football Club are welcoming applications for the position of manager for their Under 18 team who play in the Ryman Youth League.

Current manager Dave Amiet is stepping down due to increased work commitments but he will remain involved with the club. We thank Dave for all his hard work and dedication in the role over the past 18 months and he is committed to providing a smooth transition to the new manager.

Lewes’ Ryman youth side is one of the most successful in Sussex non-league football with numerous players coming through this squad to either play for the Lewes first team or moving into the professional game. With the clubs’ Academy and Development Squad (U21s) in place there is clear player pathway and the Ryman U18s side is a vital cog in the development of young players at Lewes.

Interested parties should send their CVs to Kevin Brook at clubsecretary@lewesfc.com

Lewes MWB squad crowned Sussex Champions

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A special end of season report from Sean Macleod, Head of Football Therapy and Director of Lewes Football Club

The Lewes Mental Wellbeing team went into Sunday’s final two Sussex Disability Premier League matches against The Seagulls and the 1066 Specials, knowing that two wins would earn them the title and cap a fantastic season.

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A 5-1 win against the Seagulls, followed by a 4-1 defeat of 1066 Specials meant that Lewes MWB were crowned 2014/15 Sussex Disability Premier League Champions for the first time.

When we started the Football Therapy programme in 2013 I never would have dreamed it would be as successful as it has become.

The programme and team have grown rapidly and it has been amazing to see. For all the players involved it shows what hard work, and most of all TEAM WORK can achieve.

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The biggest success of the season has been to watch a group of individuals who were withdrawn and unable to communicate, to becoming friends; working together throughout the entire season to become League Champions.

I would like to thank Josh Miles, the Lewes MWB coach and manager who has done a fantastic job, and also to our partners – Together for Mental Wellbeing, The Grace Eyre Foundation and Active Sussex, who have all helped to make this project happen.

We look forward to collecting the trophy at the Sussex Disability Award evening on 5 July at Hove Cricket Ground, and of course defending the title next season!

Congratulations to everyone involved!

Sean

If you would like to be part of the Lewes Mental Wellbeing Football Therapy Programme during the summer or for the 2015/16 season contact;

sean@lewesfc.com<mailto:sean@lewesfc.com> or adam@lewesfc.com<mailto:adam@lewesfc.com>

or call 01273 470820

 

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May half-term holiday Soccer Courses

MAY 2015 HALF-TERM - Web banner

Once again we are running our massively popular half-term soccer sessions.

Players will be split into groups of younger and older players so all ages are welcome.

Session dates:

Tuesday 26th May 2015

Wednesday 27th May 2015

You can book a half-day for just £8; one full day is £15 and two days for £28.

10% discount for Rooks Owners.

To book or for more information, just contact Adam Wolecki on Adam@LewesFC.com or 07585 706 591.

See you there!

No happy ending at The Amex

An impressive display from Whitehawk saw Lewes suffer a heavy defeat in the Sussex Senior Cup final at the Amex, as three goals in ten first-half minutes left the Rooks with too much of a mountain to climb.

The Rooks started the game as underdogs having needed to win their last league game of the season to ensure they avoid relegation from Ryman Premier, whilst Whitehawk just failed to achieve promotion to the Conference Premier after losing to Boreham Wood in the Conference South play-off final.

Unsurprisingly, it was Whitehawk who started the brighter and saw Nick Arnold force a smart save from Rikki Banks after cutting in from the right, before Jordan Rose sent a powerful header from a Scott Neilson cross just wide.  Lewes were defending relatively well though, and were not allowing Whitehawk’s dangerous attacking players to get in behind them and create too many clear-cut opportunities.

This changed after 29 minutes however, as Danny Mills gave Whitehawk the lead, reacting quickest after Banks had made a superb save from a looping Jake Robinson header to finish from close range.  Whitehawk doubled their lead just six minutes later, as Rose headed an Arnold free-kick from the right past Banks and into the bottom corner.

The impressive contingent of Rooks fans who had made the short journey to Falmer were not happy with the awarding of the free-kick though, as Matt Crabb looked to have won the ball with a strong challenge and Arnold appeared to move the ball in from the touch-line a few yards before taking the set-piece.

Whitehawk were playing some excellent football at this stage and looked like scoring every time they went forward, with Sam Deering being the latest player to force a fine save from Banks at his near post.  From the resulting corner, Osei Sankofa added Whitehawk’s third goal with a close-range finish after a goalmouth scramble six minutes before half-time.

Despite being under pressure for much of the first half, Lewes nearly pulled a goal back just before the break, as Nick Wheeler forced Whitehawk goalkeeper Craig Ross into an impressive save with a curling effort after cutting in from the left following an incisive counter-attack.

Whitehawk started the second half brightly and nearly increased their lead within minutes of the restart, as Banks had to be at his best to somehow keep out a Robinson header from point-blank range.  The pace of the game was beginning to slow down as both sides made use of their substitutions, although Whitehawk still looked the more likely scorers as David Ijaha saw an effort from a tight angle deflected into the side-netting at the end of another impressive passing move.

Whitehawk did increase their lead with 20 minutes remaining, as Neilson finished well past Banks after exchanging passes with substitute Sam Gargan.  Lewes continued to fight to get some reward for their efforts, but the closest the Rooks came saw Henry Muggeridge send an effort straight at Ross after a quick counter-attack.

Whitehawk nearly added a fifth goal in the closing stages, with Gargan sending a volley from a Lee Hills cross against the crossbar.  They were able to increase their lead further with just two minutes remaining, as Deering found space in the penalty area to send a strike past Banks and into the far corner.

In the end, Lewes were well-beaten by a side who were a class above anything the Rooks have faced in the Ryman Premier this season.  However, the Rooks fans who made the trip to the Amex acknowledged the effort of their players by staying behind at the final whistle to applaud the squad for an excellent cup run that was only ended at the final hurdle by a Whitehawk side who look more than capable of going one better and achieving promotion next season.

Lewes will now be focusing on planning for their own campaign next season, and hopefully ensuring that they can be pushing for more silverware over the next few years.

Lewes: Banks, Rowe, Cole, M. Crabb, Elphick (S. Crabb 65), Breach, Rowe-Hurst (Blewden 62), Conlon (Marshall 74), Romain, Muggeridge, Wheeler.

Unused Subs: Malins, Taylor.

Booked: Rowe.

Whitehawk: Ross, Arnold, Hills, Ijaha, Sankofa (Abdulla 62), Rose, Deering, Torres, Robinson (Gargan 62), Mills (Kissock 67), Neilson.

Unused Subs: Makofo, Kujabi.

Booked: Rose.

Referee: John Pike

Attendance: 2,585

Sussex Senior Cup Final Preview

So it all comes down to 90 minutes of football.  Our league campaign is done and dusted, now it’s the opportunity for the players to be heroes.  Not just for one day, as David Bowie told us, but to go down in the folklore of the club.  It has been nine seasons since we last appeared in the final when we beat Horsham at Priory Lane.  Back then our opponents tomorrow, Whitehawk, were in the County League.  Today, they have established themselves in the higher echelons of the Conference South and came within a whisker of promotion to the Conference National Premier last weekend.

There is no doubt Whitehawk will go into the game as firm favourites, but just as David beat Goliath with a small stone and a rubber band, Steve Brown’s team will take the field tomorrow at the Amex knowing that anything can happen in a one-off battle.  The players have trained hard over the past couple of weeks and Brown has a full squad to choose from, bar the cup-tied James Fraser, George Brown and Jordan Badger.

Our record against Whitehawk in competitive matches is brief.  Two games in the Ryman Premier League back in 2012/13, with The Hawks winning both (3-2 at the Pan, 3-1 at The Enclosed Ground).  Those games will count for nothing tomorrow as thousands of Rooks fans will create a fantastic atmosphere at The Amex.  And who knows, perhaps the Footballing Gods will be shining down on us.