We asked our coaches to tell us their thoughts on last season and their hopes for 22/23. There’s league & cup glory and struggles and challenges in equal measure as our managers tell us about their experiences over last twelve months in grassroots.
Girls Under 11s
This season has been a really good one for Under 11’s Girls. Thing have started to click for the girls and we can tell how much they are enjoying training and playing every week. Results have also been promising as we move to competitive football next season, with the girls winning just under half of all the games they played. As coaches, we are really proud of how the girls have improved and can’t wait to get started for 9 aside in 2022/23. Sean Turner
Under 11s Whites
Good Solid Season, had a few new players and all gelled and got on great, looking forward to next season now. Just had a tournament in Wales as the only English team and made the semi final, great experience for the lads. Leighton Atwal
Under 11s Stripes
Great season. Made the semi final in a tournament at Elland Road Leeds. Won to Euro Cup in the MSGFL. Sadly this team has now ended. Leighton Atwal
It’s been a busy year at the Soccer School, averaging over 100 players every week. We’ve got a really strong core of players who come every week as well a new players who are just starting out. The commitment of the volunteers is second to none and it’s great to see players from our older teams helping out. We’ve also invested to improve the experience of players and parents attending. With the Women’s Euros and a winter World Cup I can’t see numbers dipping any time soon. Liam Whitehead
Under 14s Colts Blues
Another successful season for Stalybridge Celtic Colts Blues under 14, was competitive in the championship and reached the cup final but just missed out on the cup this season but already planning for next. Dave Jackson
Under 12s Blues
The under 12 Blues started their first season at competitive football in the EMJFL division 2 as well as all starting new high schools as fresh faced years 7s. The squad included two new players who quickly acquitted themselves into the established group. We are an honest group of lads who have to work hard to earn results and we found ourselves nicely placed in the table at the mid season break. We made two new signings in January and this along with a brand new kit saw us push hard for promotion, missing out in the end by one point. We also reached the divisional cup final but unfortunately had to settle for silver. We now move up to 11 a side and can’t wait to start the new season in 2022. Dave Lees
For us, the 21/22 season was full of challenges. Moving up to 11 a side and full size pitches is never easy, but it was even tougher when we lost a large portion of the team that completed the previous season. Luckily we were able to bring in some new players, who slotted into the team like they’d been there for years. On the pitch, we had our ups and downs, but managed to finish in a solid 4th place and we were able to get to a cup semi final too. Ali Rehman
Under 16s Colts
Our u16 Colts had a fantastic season last year. With a squad of 19 they competed on Saturdays in the North Bury JFL Premiership, and also Sundays in the East Manchester JFL Championship division. Playing in excess of 50 games they finished 4th in the North Bury Premiership, and won the league and cup double in the East Manchester League, losing just one game all season. A fantastic group of lads who will now represent the club at u17s. Simon Ashton
Pan Disability u12 & u16
Our Pan Disablility team has gone from strength to strength this season and is the first year we are now split into 2 age divisions for both training and matches. We have the most players we’ve ever had registered at both under 16s and under 12s. This has been a challenge splitting our small pitch during training but is currently working well. We have taken part in our first competitive matches this summer with both age groups achieving good results! We have also been lucky enough to play tournaments at both Man Utd and Man city, with both our teams managing to win at City! Amy Turner
It’s been a tricky season overall. With the stops and starts it’s been hard to find a rhythm of consistency. Getting beat by teams narrowly one week to then beating them comfortably in the return game. We still managed to stay in the Prem but only just. Looking forward to what should be a better season for 2022/2023. Adam Rawson
Under 7s Blues, Whites & Stripes
For the new Celtic U7s, 21/22 was their first season of competitive football. The three teams, Blues, Whites and Stripes each played in a different division in the East Manchester Junior Football League and after a steep learning curve at the start of the season, all three teams settled in well.
The Blues won all of their games except for two draws between November and the end of the season, and narrowly lost out in the Cup Final. Congratulations to Fergus Moorhouse who was awarded Most Improved Player of the Year, Liam Stanley who was awarded Coaches Player of the Year, and to Oscar Hughes who was awarded Player’s Player of the Year and Club Young Player of the Year.
The Whites had a number of good wins in the league and also made the cup final, again losing narrowly. Congratulations to Robbie Horsburgh who was awarded most improved player of the year, Oliver Wilkinson who was awarded player’s player of the year and Grace Etchells who was awarded coaches player of the year.
The Stripes had a yo-yo year moving up and down through a number of divisions with some great wins along the way. Congratulations to Oli Preger who was awarded most improved player of the year, Jack Squire who was awarded player’s player of the year and Zach Nightingale who was awarded coaches player of the year. Preparations are well underway for our U8s season and the kids are excited to get it started! Zach Hughes
Under 12s Whites
Definitely a season of two halves, but ended up as a really good season. Before Christmas we never really got going and a late equaliser against the bottom team saved us from being rock bottom at the Christmas break. But the second half of the season was completely different, with goals galore and as confidence grew we kept climbing up the division to finish in the top half and made it to our divisional cup final. Next season we’ll be moving up to 11 a side and bigger pitches, and all the boys are really looking forward to the new challenge. David Shoesmith
Under 9s Whites
The Whites started the season in division 2 and although we were holding our own in the majority of the first few games, the league was of a standard that was a little high for the team as a collective. In pre-season the Whites had been formed with players coming from The Stripes who’d been in a much lower league the season before and some new players who hadn’t played league football before. This showed a little in some of the previously mentioned early games although the boys were learning really quickly and were evolving into a good side. Unfortunately as a result of a few defeats The Whites we’re relegated to the league below. Despite the drop the lads kept their chins up and the positive results started to come with a run of a few wins and draws mixed in with a few defeats. We were knocked out of the cup on penalties by Dukinfield Youth in a match where we were much the better team. The lads kept on going and were the winners in our end of season cup final beating Juno Jaguars 1-0. We have also won a summer tournament hosted by SK. Craig Rawson
Under 11s Blues Colts
This season has been a really great one for us. We have started to make some real progress and it’s been great to see everyone develop at a really steady pace, Results have also been promising as we move into the EMJFL next season and we feel we are ready for the next challenge. We ended our season on a high and won our cup final 2nd year in a row and pleased to welcome a new player to our existing bunch of amazing players who we are lucky enough to sign and hang onto for the 5th season (must be doing something right). Paul and myself would like to say how proud we are to be a part of this journey and roll on 22/23.Vicky Haynes and Paul Quinn
Thank you to all our managers, coaches and volunteers who have gone the extra mile to make sure everyone child at Stalybridge Celtic Juniors has the best possible experience in grassroots. Good luck to everyone for the new season!