The Story So Far.
Cottage Farm Rangers FC is a junior football club providing football for both girls and boys, with teams ranging from under 8's through to open age. The club was founded back in 1993 by Bob Bynt and the late Fred Wood, and over the years has continued to flourish under the philosophy that football should be fun and winning is not the be all and end all.
However, as a club we have continued to teach our players the skills required to play football, both as an individual and as a team and also instructed them in the laws of the game. To that end almost all the volunteers involved with the club have either achieved the FA Level 1 Coaching Certificate or have a full FA Coaching Certificate. The club has officers associated with every team who have completed the 1st4Sport Level 1 Coaching Certificate, or the Level 2 FA Coaching Certificate. There are also a number of qualified referees amongst those volunteers, and all of the officers who have completed FA Coaching Awards, have completed a first aid course and Child Protection Workshop as well. A number of the coaches have completed a Prevention and First Aid Management of Sports Injuries course.
The Girls Football Section was introduced to the club in November 1999, and in that short space of time has proved very successful, to the point that we have entered teams in a league based in the South Staffordshire area. We now have two open age Ladies teams playing 11-a-side matches in the West Midlands Ladies League and the Birmingham County Womens League.
The club has in the past obtained lottery grants totalling £5000. This money has been used to provide several sets of small-sided goals for the younger boy's teams. Some of this money went towards the cost of the coaching courses, which our officers have attended. Also new kits were provided for our new girl's teams, as well as a lot of other equipment for training purposes and first aid equipment.
On Wednesday 3rd October 2001, Cottage Farm Rangers were awarded the F.A.'s top club award at a Presentation Evening at Birmingham County Headquarters. The "Charter Standard Development Club" award is only given to those clubs who can demonstrate that they have a safe club for children, a friendly environment and that all coaches have the F.A. minimum standard qualification. Cottage Farm were the first club in Tamworth to receive this award, and are one of only five clubs in the whole of the Birmingham County F.A. area at the time. Club Chairman Roger White, who accepted the award from Les Howie, the National Football Development Manager, said, "As with any award, it takes a tremendous amount of effort to achieve. Club Secretary Bob Bynt and I are over the moon. This is a fabulous vote of thanks for all the hard work put in by all members of Cottage Farm, the Committee, Coaches, Parents and Players alike".
Tom Stack, Birmingham's Director for Football Development, together with Caroline Rees, Sponsorship Manager for the Nationwide Building Society said, "Cottage Farm Rangers should be proud of this award, theirs was one of the highest quality applications received, everyone at the club should be proud. Clubs like Cottage Farm are setting the standard that all the other clubs will have to follow. Within the next 2 to 3 years, this standard will be a requirement for all the clubs to attain".
In the summer of 2002, Cottage Farm Rangers introduced their Development Centre for youngsters from 5 years of age upwards which is proving very successful. Nearly 40 lads regularly attended these sessions led by Charlie Hembry.
The club uses Belgrave High School as it's home. The club have supplied some of their coaches to undertake after-school football courses via Active Sports for the school's pupils at various times, and will continue to do so when required. The club and the school are looking to enhance their partnership in the future, for the good of both parties and also the local community. Cottage Farm Rangers have grown from a single team in the 1993/1994 season, to 18 teams in the 2002/2003 season, it's tenth year. With the players waiting to play at Under 8 and those younger still, the club will continue to grow and provide opportunities for more youngsters to play and enjoy football.
At the start of the 2009/2010 season, Cottage Farm Rangers had 8 male Youth teams, from Under 12s up to the Under 18s and an adult male team that plays in the Tamworth & District Sunday League. We have two adult female teams plus teams from Under 7s to Under 10s playing Mini-Soccer and have even had a Dads teams, playing indoor football. The Development Centre is being very well supported in it's indoor home for the winter.
Some excellent news was received at Christmas time 2003, when the joint initiative between Belgrave High School and Cottage Farm Rangers to obtain a grant from the Football Foundation, was confirmed as being successful with the school being presented with a cheque for £222,485 by local MP Brian Jenkins. This money is get a drainage system put in to the Belgrave High School fields which should enable more games to be played in the future and allow for more than 200 players at Cottage Farm Rangers to enjoy their football on better quality pitches. Since then, another grant has been obtained through another joint initiative with the School and the MUGA was provided at Belgrave.
Watch this space for more news in the future.
At the start of the 2012-2013 season, Cottage Farm Rangers has 21 teams from Under 7s up to adult teams plus our very successful Development Centre which is based at Dosthill Boys Club. All teams play their home games at Belgrave High School on 4 11-a-side pitches, two of which contain 9v9 pitches and 3 mini soccer pitches which are some of the best around. All Junior matches have spectator areas which are separated from the pitch by Respect Barriers, we have 2 sets of our own 9v9 goals and soon to be 3 sets of Samba Mini Soccer goals