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Southside Star are a club for players of all ages

All Areas > Sport > Football

Author: Roger Jackson, Posted: Thursday, 20th December 2018, 09:00

Southside Star 1st team Southside Star 1st team

“We’re a club for life.” So says the secretary of Southside Star Football Club, Sam Jones, who himself has been part of the Cheltenham League club for three-quarters of his life.

We cater for players from six to 60 and seven to 70,” said Jones with some pride.

“We run junior teams from seven and under, we’ve got two adult teams in the Cheltenham League and then we’ve got a veterans’ team and a super veterans’ team.”

Jones plays for the club’s Cheltenham League Division Three team although the 22-year-old’s appearances have been restricted somewhat this season because he is currently studying for a Masters in Belfast.

He remains very much involved however, having joined at the club at the age of six. That was when his dad John got involved as well – Dad John coached Sam’s team all the way through to under-18 and he is still coaching at the club today.

He also plays veterans’ football so Jones junior knows better than most that the club really does have the potential to be a ‘club for life’.

“I’ve worked my way through the system,” said Jones, “and my dad has just started coaching a new crop of under-7s.”

That age group is too young to compete in local league football but they will be ready soon enough – the club currently have 15 age group teams competing in the Cheltenham Youth League.

Their flagship adult team, meanwhile, play in Division One of the Cheltenham League – the club play their home games at Swindon Village playing fields – after winning promotion last season.

Chris Peach is their manager and their second team, who were formed last year, are managed by James Griffiths.

“We’ve always been a social club,” added Jones, “but the aim is always to try to grow. We merged with Star about four years and we’d like to get back into the Northern Senior League at some stage.”

So who are the players who can help to make that happen?

“Our captain and central midfielder Jack Edwards,” said Jones. “He’s moved to Southampton for work but still plays most weekends. Matthew Welsby is another good midfielder and up front James Lee scores a lot of goals.

“He joined the club when we merged with Star.”

And what about for the reserves?

“Our chairman Elliott Mounsey,” continued Jones. “He plays at the back, he’s a centre-half, he’s John Terry-esque! Then there’s Simon Prince, he plays in the 1sts and 2nds, he’s a pretty key goalscorer and creator, and up front there’s Kai Ansley, he’s starting to score a few goals.”

And there are others too.

“Chris Bogle is a club stalwart and future hall of famer,” added Jones. “Harry Merchant and Mike Teague are also key players for both teams.”

With players like them, and Jones himself, the future is surely bright for the club.

When Jones spoke to The Local Answer, he was looking forward to returning home for Christmas and the new year and playing a few games.

“I’m not in peak fitness,” he admitted, “but I did score in our first game of the season. I was just hanging around at the front and the ball fell to me after a goalmouth scramble although it didn’t affect the result because we lost 4-1!”

Southside Star train at Bournside School on Thursdays (8pm) and anyone wanting to join the club should contact Sam Jones on 07714 192808.

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Southside Star 2nd team
Sam Jones

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