About Nottsborough FC by Chairman Jonathan Hill……
Q. Why are we called Nottsborough?
A. Nigh on 20 years ago the two founding partners of the Club, Jonty Hill and John Litster, bumped into each other in Covent Garden shortly after coming to London from Nottingham and Loughborough Universities respectively to find their fortunes. Unfortunately they only found each other and decided to go for a pint. This was surprising given that they hated each other – Jonty Johny because he was an old fashioned centre half playing for a fantastic Loughborough team who made himself look good by using the old back pass law to Alan Hansen effect and Johny Jonty because he was Nottingham’s flash, goal-scoring centre forward who centre halves just dislike as a matter of course. One thing led to another and a team was born – originally called Stuttgart Partisans for reasons to complicated to go into here, then changed to Nottsborough Castle (in honour of the pub we took over in Wimbledon Village after games in the Wimbledon and District League). Nottsborough was the amalgamation chosen as it sounded better than Loughingham. The Castle was dropped on application to the SOL as we thought we might sound like a bunch of boozers (which indeed we were).
Q. What League do we play in?
A. Having spent 12 or so happy years in the Southern Olympian League (as it was called then) we decided to up our ambition by applying to the Southern Amateur League – generally seen then as the League to play in (and still now to be fair) – and having said No once they eventually let us in. Six or so years later and all 4 of our teams play in their respective top Division. In terms of standard we would suggest that the top League is pretty much the best Division within the M25 which is not semi-professional with some great grounds to play at (and a few iffy ones to be fair) without all of the absolute hassle of travel and aggro that sometimes goes with being higher up the pyramid… The SAL is affiliated to the Amateur Football Alliance (the AFA) into which most of the other similar leagues are affiliated too.
Q. What Cups do we play in?
A. The 1s play in the AFA Senior Cup and the AFA Kent/Surrey Cup and also the Surrey Premier semi-pro Cup The 2s play in the same but at Intermediate level, the 3s the same but with the SAL Junior Cup added and the 4s the same plus the SAL Minor Cup. This means that the 1s in a successful season could play circa 30-35 games including friendlies. The Vets take part in the over 40s AFA Open and Closed Cups and play a number of high-quality friendlies at over 35 level.
Q. Who runs the Club?
A. Answer – we do! Unlike a number of teams in our League we don’t have the benefit of a school or bank infrastructure behind us but that doesn’t mean we are any less well run (although it does have an effect on our financial structure to be fair). The following people have the (generally) thankless task of keeping the Club going and generally out of trouble:
Club Chairman – Jonty Hill Chairs the quarterly Committee meetings and the AGM and generally tries to be nice and polite to all AFA and SAL officers.
Club Secretary – Chris O’Connor. Chris is the engine room of the Club and is responsible for all interaction with our League and The AFA (entry fees, disciplinary correspondence, result cards etc) and is responsible for appointing all Refs as well as liaising with all five Team Captains and Vice-Captains. A big job that he does fantastically well and is the envy of most clubs in the League.
Club Treasurer – Alex Ewin. Nottsborough legend ensures that the Club has a reasonably balanced budget ie sets annual and match day subs and prepares our formal accounts for the AGM. He also holds the club cheque book so be nice to him.
Team Captains – Each team has a captain which organises games etc. The First team also has a first team gaffer.
Q. Who Coaches the Teams?
A. For 15 years now the Club has been coached and in effect mentored by our Director of Football, Brian Williams. Brian has taken on legendary status within the Club over this time and has expended a huge amount of time and energy in getting the club to where it is today – without a single penny in remuneration which is pretty spectacular in today’s world. Brian was a top semi-pro player in his own right and coached non-League Horley Town before alighting on Nottsborough. He is married to the long-suffering Zoe and has three grown-up girls.
Q. When and where do we train?
A. The Club trains every Wednesday evening from 7pm to 9pm at Putney Ark Academy Putney. Training is under floodlights on a 3g surface suitable for astro turf trainers or moulds. Pre season we train from in the Clapham / Tooting area whilst the light remains on our side.
Q. What’s our history?
A Too long to go into here but the attached list of honours gives you a pretty good idea of generally how successful we have been after starting off as a one team club in the Wimbledon and District League in 1988. In effect the Club has had three broad phases of first teams since that point ie the original Notts/Loughborough combo to start with through to the mid 90s (although it is worth noting that the current Vets have 9 players in it who played in that first season in 1988). The second phase came with Brian’s arrival and is probably best described as the Haighy era and the third and arguably most successful is the current crop, captained by Mark Grove and latterly Matt Rolfe. Over that period the original criteria for joining the Club has extended way beyond just Nottingham and Loughborough (although the links to both are growing increasingly stronger) but it is fair to say we get a lot of players coming from University teams as our reputation has grown but also simply from mates of mates and long may the interest continue!
Q. What are Nottsborough’s values?
A. Well the technical motto of the club is “Nikkerus Nakkerus Dropperus Floorius” , roughly translated from the Latin as “niknaks niknaks on the floor” which frankly belongs in another (admittedly pleasant) era and we would probably now characterise the Club as follows: “ Committed to playing quality, competitive football with like-minded pals, to win where we can but always to have a laugh”. Others may be able to say it in a catchier way but that will do for now. Suffice to say that the social side is as important to us as the footballing side but also no surprise that we are a very very competitive bunch….