RAYNE YOUTH FOOTBALL CLUB was founded in 1999 by Kevin Withams and the late Perry Lees.
The whole intent of the founders was that children of all abilities and ages were given the opportunity to play football, this being the ethos that the Committee has endeavoured to carry forward to this day.
In June 2008 the Club was proud to achieve The FA’s Charter Standard. This is a best practice guide that sets standards of coaching, administration and child protection for all clubs outside the Football League and Premier League. As a benchmark for quality, it will improve the playing experience for all.
The early years saw a large number of children from mixed age groups train and play at Rayne Village Playing Fields and slowly the Club expanded until in 2005/2006 the Club had five teams playing: Under 8s (The Robins), two Under 9s (The Rooks and The Ravens), an U17s team and an U14s Girls team.
The 2006/2007 season saw a great change in the Club with the existing Committee deciding to stand down, allowing a new Committee to be formed in January 2007. The new Committee wanted to concentrate on expanding the Club, especially at the lower age groups, as by this time there were only two teams playing in the U9 & U10 age groups, the Girls Team having formed their own Club.
The new Committee held an Open Training day in a bid to gain new members. This Open Day was such a success, not only did it raise over £250 for Club funds but also brought in enough players to start the 2007/08 season with five teams in the U7, U9, U10, U11 and U14 age groups. During the 07/08 season the Club also introduced a Development Squad catering for children from the age of 5 trained by the Youth Development Manager.
The new Committee wanted to raise funds for the Club knowing that by expanding, greater costs would be incurred. To this end they set about a number projects aimed not only at raising funds but also at having fun.
- April 2007 – Open Training Day – raising £250
- May 2007 – Sponsored Bike Ride – raising £800
- July 2007 – Stall at the Village Fete – raising £300
These events were repeated in 2008 and 2009 with equal success, together with charity events raising money for Cystic Fibrosis and Great Ormond Street Hospital.
The expansion of the Club brought problems; the existing playing fields were not big enough to allow for an U11/12/13 size pitch. After discussions with the Parish Council and various land owners, a short term lease was agreed for part of Oak Meadow. In October 2007 the process of turning a field that had been used for livestock for over 50 years into a football pitch started. By May 2008 the pitch was ready, and proved to be a great success, this being the only pitch that survived unscathed during the 2008/09 wet winter. Rayne Youth Football Club would like to express its appreciation for the help fromRayne Cricket Club who assisted in the work on the new pitch.
With the move to part of Oak Meadow the Club had to purchase maintenance equipment for the pitch. The Club purchased a “spiker” to aid the drainage of the ground and encourage root growth with the help of one of its sponsors, King & Co. To add to this the Churcher family on Rayne Road donated their old Ride-on Mower to the Club and in June 2009 the Club purchased a Ransomes Triple 18 mower to help maintain the increased size of the football areas of Oak Meadow.
As the Club continues to expand further, the Committee has resolved to find a new, larger ground to accommodate pitches, training areas and a larger car park all together in one place and is currently negotiating on a field within the village envelope. A Race Night held in July 2009 raised over £1,500 towards the new ground.
The Committee is confident that the Club will continue to grow for years to come with improved pitch facilities and continued support of volunteers, parents, players, Parish Council and the various Rayne Village groups.
This is an extract from an enquiry email sent to the Club via the website:
‘Many thanks and congratulations on a great website, and wonderful job you people do to help kids play sport. I remember playing football as a Kid for a local team, and the enjoyment, and sense of friendship and belonging this brings, and what people behind the set do, free of charge to make this happen’.