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NWCFL | Let’s Meet the new member Clubs

NWCFL | Let’s Meet the new member Clubs

NWCFL | Let’s Meet the new member Clubs

Mon 26th June 2023 | General | By Media Team

General>

Every summer we have the pleasure of meeting with clubs that join or re-join the North West Counties League. We like to find out who’s who, a bit about what the clubs are about and what their hopes are for the season. In the first of this season’s interviews we had the pleasure of chatting Sameel Mahmood, Chairman of Route One Rovers, a club that there has been a lot of discussion about since the club won the Yorkshire Amateur League last season and securing a place in the National League System.

The name had raised a number of discussion points and the manner in which the club won their league last season drew plenty of praise from observers and commentators, so to get the ball rolling, we asked Sameel to describe Route One Rovers in his own words!

“It’s good to be talking to you as a North West Counties League Club, we have come a long way in quite a short time. We started ten years ago, we were playing football as a group of local teams but all got together to form a team with an aim to play football at a good standard. We started off in the West Riding County Amateur League and started off really well. The players that we had showed their potential and at the time I was covering the Chairman, Secretary and Managers roles but we were a group of friends who could play football.

In our second season we won the Leagues Cup and progressed up the leagues and into the Yorkshire Amateur League. We played some good football and over the last decade won 8-9 trophies and last season knew that we were capable of mounting a promotion challenge, did so, and here we are after a lot of work!”

There has been a lot said about the Club’s name and we can look at that in a bit but can you tell us a bit about your players and fan-base? You are a Bradford based club but now playing in Keighley?

“We are originally a Bradford Club and our original team were all proudly from Bradford, however these players have moved on through the team and the players have evolved over the years. We now have a number of players from Leeds, players from Dewsbury, Halifax, Bradford of course but have a strong team based all over West Yorkshire. Our fan base have followed us around the region and they are looking forward to the new season like we are. We kept them informed of the development of the club throughout and they are with us as we head to Marley.”

You spoke there about the move from Bradford to Marley, was it not an option to keep the club in Bradford and not move the fan base or is that easier said than done?

“Yes, we are having to move to Marley, we looked at grounds all around Bradford and West Yorkshire, but a number are private facilities and sometimes clubs aren’t too keen to have a potential rival come in and groundshare with them, even if it generates potential revenue, derby games and additional interest and that is their prerogative. We looked at the council facility at Marley and opened up negotiations with the Council and we were aware that Steeton had initial concerns about their private investments in that facility.”

“That said we were able to agree a lease and have put our own facilities in at Marley, we have got a club house together and will be good to go. There is a lot of work involved and at times it has not been easy, but this isn’t a short-term project, this is a club who are looking to play at as high a level as we can but also be a community club and to give people a chance to play football.”

Ok let us talk about the name of the club, a lot has been said about that in recent times and you yourselves at the leagues AGM the other week described it as ‘Hollywood’, but of course it could also be considered a slang term for a direct style of football! How did that come about, is it staying and what type of football do you play?

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“When we first got up and running we were all just sat around a table and thinking of a name, Route One Rovers came up and we thought, that’s fun and stands out and quite ironic considering the way we wanted to play. We never thought we would get this far, this fast, however it has proven to be a discussion point wherever we have played and whatever league we have been in and it’s staying if we can help it. We considered Bradford Rovers, AFC Bradford and a couple of others but they don’t have that stand out factor.“

“As for our style of play, we play football the way it should be played, we have a team that has a lot of players in it that can play some great football, we play fast, we play pass and move and every now and again we may play the ball into the box but we are not a boot it and dash team at all, you can’t be to get to where we are.”

It’s quite a step up but what are the club looking to achieve in your first season in the NWCFL?

“We are looking to get in and push on, we know we are in a strong league with strong teams but we think we bring something different. We have momentum behind us and it’s not just about getting that NLS Status, we are going to try and get settled quickly and aim for the play-offs, and why not? We had a good season to get here and it’s worth pointing out as well that we didn’t drop any points at home last season and took some silverware as well.”

With being a new club to the league, have your coaching staff had a chance to look at the NW Counties League as yet as well as a chance to size up the type of opposition?

“We have a strong coaching staff led by Sohail Abbas and Mohammad Patel and have added to our coaching staff recently too. We have come quite a way from me managing the team as well as doing the other key roles, we have a strong management team with experience, we won a treble two seasons ago, a double last season, so this management team are used to the winning mentality. One of our coaches has experience working extensively with Silsden Under 23’s, Silsden being an ex-NWCFL club of course and we have a coach who lives 5 minutes away from Marley and has seen a number of Steeton games there when there has been the opportunity. We will be ready come July 29th and have a good pre-season schedule in the diary too.”

We spoke earlier about the clubs aims on the pitch, but as a Chairman, what are your aims for the club off the park for the short-mid and long term?

“On and off the field of play we want to push on, we have got into the NLS and got our facilities in place at Marley but are also looking ahead.   We want to be a community club and to continue giving players a chance to play whilst us also being at the centre of the Community. We have been in discussions with Bradford Council and they have identified two sites with us that we are looking to get a long-term lease on and develop as a Community Sports hub. We are looking at a five-year plan on one of those but would like to develop it in two or three.”

“Myself and our Vice-Chairman, Hassan Ellahi are looking to build on the strong foundations that we have at this club and maximise the potential it has. That said, we also have to produce on the park too and we are more than capable of doing that. We are looking forward to getting up and running and when we were at Blackpool the other week and saw us pulled out of the hat/bag in the cup draws it was a moment of pride for us.”

NWCFL | Let’s Meet the new member ClubsLet’s Meet the new member Clubs – Route One Rovers

Mon 26th June 2023 | General
By Media Team

Every summer we have the pleasure of meeting with clubs that join or re-join the North West Counties League. We like to find out who’s who, a bit about what the clubs are about and what their hopes are for the season. In the first of this season’s interviews we had the pleasure of chatting Sameel Mahmood, Chairman of Route One Rovers, a club that there has been a lot of discussion about since the club won the Yorkshire Amateur League last season and securing a place in the National League System.

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The name had raised a number of discussion points and the manner in which the club won their league last season drew plenty of praise from observers and commentators, so to get the ball rolling, we asked Sameel to describe Route One Rovers in his own words!

“It’s good to be talking to you as a North West Counties League Club, we have come a long way in quite a short time. We started ten years ago, we were playing football as a group of local teams but all got together to form a team with an aim to play football at a good standard. We started off in the West Riding County Amateur League and started off really well. The players that we had showed their potential and at the time I was covering the Chairman, Secretary and Managers roles but we were a group of friends who could play football.

In our second season we won the Leagues Cup and progressed up the leagues and into the Yorkshire Amateur League. We played some good football and over the last decade won 8-9 trophies and last season knew that we were capable of mounting a promotion challenge, did so, and here we are after a lot of work!”

There has been a lot said about the Club’s name and we can look at that in a bit but can you tell us a bit about your players and fan-base? You are a Bradford based club but now playing in Keighley?

“We are originally a Bradford Club and our original team were all proudly from Bradford, however these players have moved on through the team and the players have evolved over the years. We now have a number of players from Leeds, players from Dewsbury, Halifax, Bradford of course but have a strong team based all over West Yorkshire. Our fan base have followed us around the region and they are looking forward to the new season like we are. We kept them informed of the development of the club throughout and they are with us as we head to Marley.”

You spoke there about the move from Bradford to Marley, was it not an option to keep the club in Bradford and not move the fan base or is that easier said than done?

“Yes, we are having to move to Marley, we looked at grounds all around Bradford and West Yorkshire, but a number are private facilities and sometimes clubs aren’t too keen to have a potential rival come in and groundshare with them, even if it generates potential revenue, derby games and additional interest and that is their prerogative. We looked at the council facility at Marley and opened up negotiations with the Council and we were aware that Steeton had initial concerns about their private investments in that facility.”

“That said we were able to agree a lease and have put our own facilities in at Marley, we have got a club house together and will be good to go. There is a lot of work involved and at times it has not been easy, but this isn’t a short-term project, this is a club who are looking to play at as high a level as we can but also be a community club and to give people a chance to play football.”

Ok let us talk about the name of the club, a lot has been said about that in recent times and you yourselves at the leagues AGM the other week described it as ‘Hollywood’, but of course it could also be considered a slang term for a direct style of football! How did that come about, is it staying and what type of football do you play?

“When we first got up and running we were all just sat around a table and thinking of a name, Route One Rovers came up and we thought, that’s fun and stands out and quite ironic considering the way we wanted to play. We never thought we would get this far, this fast, however it has proven to be a discussion point wherever we have played and whatever league we have been in and it’s staying if we can help it. We considered Bradford Rovers, AFC Bradford and a couple of others but they don’t have that stand out factor.“

“As for our style of play, we play football the way it should be played, we have a team that has a lot of players in it that can play some great football, we play fast, we play pass and move and every now and again we may play the ball into the box but we are not a boot it and dash team at all, you can’t be to get to where we are.”

It’s quite a step up but what are the club looking to achieve in your first season in the NWCFL?

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“We are looking to get in and push on, we know we are in a strong league with strong teams but we think we bring something different. We have momentum behind us and it’s not just about getting that NLS Status, we are going to try and get settled quickly and aim for the play-offs, and why not? We had a good season to get here and it’s worth pointing out as well that we didn’t drop any points at home last season and took some silverware as well.”

With being a new club to the league, have your coaching staff had a chance to look at the NW Counties League as yet as well as a chance to size up the type of opposition?

“We have a strong coaching staff led by Sohail Abbas and Mohammad Patel and have added to our coaching staff recently too. We have come quite a way from me managing the team as well as doing the other key roles, we have a strong management team with experience, we won a treble two seasons ago, a double last season, so this management team are used to the winning mentality. One of our coaches has experience working extensively with Silsden Under 23’s, Silsden being an ex-NWCFL club of course and we have a coach who lives 5 minutes away from Marley and has seen a number of Steeton games there when there has been the opportunity. We will be ready come July 29th and have a good pre-season schedule in the diary too.”

We spoke earlier about the clubs aims on the pitch, but as a Chairman, what are your aims for the club off the park for the short-mid and long term?

“On and off the field of play we want to push on, we have got into the NLS and got our facilities in place at Marley but are also looking ahead.   We want to be a community club and to continue giving players a chance to play whilst us also being at the centre of the Community. We have been in discussions with Bradford Council and they have identified two sites with us that we are looking to get a long-term lease on and develop as a Community Sports hub. We are looking at a five-year plan on one of those but would like to develop it in two or three.”

“Myself and our Vice-Chairman, Hassan Ellahi are looking to build on the strong foundations that we have at this club and maximise the potential it has. That said, we also have to produce on the park too and we are more than capable of doing that. We are looking forward to getting up and running and when we were at Blackpool the other week and saw us pulled out of the hat/bag in the cup draws it was a moment of pride for us.”

  • June 25, 2023