SWINDON Village Bowmen Under-Nines started playing competitively in the Cheltenham Youth League this season.
Some of the longest-serving players first joined the club at Under-sevens when they trained with the older players.
When Steven Wood's son Alfie joined the club two years ago, he realised there was a need for a coach to take the younger boys through. Steven started out as an assistant coach, before taking over management of the team at Under-eights.
He was joined by both Ashton Goymer-Brown and Sam Edwards last season and the trio made a strong coaching team.
The team was built up gradually during the Under-eights season last year and was at full strength in time for the start of this competitive season.
The players come from all over the county, with around half attending Swindon Village School.
There are some really strong players and all the boys have bags of enthusiasm.
Newer players are learning fast and building on their experience through training and matches.
The team meets every Saturday morning for either league games, training or friendly matches. Friendlies are a great opportunity for the team to experiment with different formations and positions and build match experience.
Swindon Village Bowmen started in 1999 and entered the Cheltenham Youth League in 2000.
The club was formed by a group of dads, who had finishing playing themselves, and wished to get their children interested in playing.
The club started out with an Under-eights team who were managed by club chairman Robin Adair, and an Under-sevens run by club treasurer Chris Ryman.
The biggest highlight in the club's history was seeing the original Under-sevens team continuing to play for the club right up to Under-18s. They finished their career with Swindon Village Bowmen in style, by winning the Bristol Combination Under-18s League last season – a fantastic achievement for any club.
Looking to the future, the ambition for the Under-nines and for the whole club is to continue to give the boys a good introduction to football, played in the right spirit, and for the boys to enjoy themselves whatever the result.
The club will be applying for the FA Charter Standard this season.