BLACKLEY LIONS JFC
Usually when companies look to sponsor a football team, it will be for marketing purposes, to get the brand out there in front of a certain audience, of course this is also the case for GB, yet as a bonus we are lucky enough to be able to sponsor the football team who's home is the place we also call our home.
Not being one for tokenism or right on box ticking rubbish, believing individuals and groups should be celebrated on merit and talent, the value they bring to their communities, it was a pleasure for us to sponsor a team, that has at its heart, everything we stand for.
On a rainy Manchester morning ( are there any other types? ) One of the warmest moments in our short existence as a brand was brought to us by these adorable kids and dedicated staff.
Watching boys and girls of all colour, race and ability enjoying our national sport, the game we love, trying their best, giving their all for our local team in GB kits, was worth more than any sale or marketing opportunity.
Sarah Howard - Club secretary
Here we took the chance to talk to Sarah and Gary Howard two committed members of our community ( although they come from t'hills like ) who lovingly run and coach the Blackley Lions.
CAN WE HAVE SOME BACKGROUND ON THE CLUB'S BEGINNINGS ?
The club came from three people with a shared dream. There were no opportunities in Blackley itself for children to play football. Everyone had to join teams outside of the area. We needed something to bring the community together and out of this came Blackley Lions. We decided we would have only one team but due to overwhelming interest we ended up with four and a development centre.
WHAT'S IN A NAME
WHY BLACKLEY LIONS ?
The name came from the Lion being the heart of the village ...Lion Brow, Ye Golden Lion...various old public houses were named after Lions. But most of all the Lion is a symbol of strength and courage... The Lion, it's King of the jungle and will never back down.
YE GOLDEN LION - BLACKLEY
*Blackley Lions Jfc is not an affliate of Ye Golden Lion
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A CHILD WITH AN OBVIOUS TALENT FOR THE GAME ?
Practice practice and more practice.... keep your head on your shoulders, feet on the ground.
Look to Ronaldo, Beckham and similar legends of the game, when talent alone is not enough, that's where the hard work will kick in and pay off.
The greatest players never stop training, working and improving, regardless of how much natural talent they possess.
HOPE AND GLORY
WHAT ARE YOUR HOPES FOR THE LIONS IN THE FUTURE ?
To keep the club running for a very long time and develop players so that they can go as far as they possibly can, playing for premier league clubs, England and their own national sides, picking up coaching badges of their own, coaching and managing clubs at home and abroad, enjoying the game, competing with a sense of fairness, ultimately furthering the sport with their own unique style.
We really hope future generations can say they played for Blackley Lions and look back fondly at their time here, taking everything positive from us, passing it back into our beautiful game and on to their children and trainees in the future.
HIGHLIGHT OF WORKING WITH THE LIONS?
To see the kids have fun, progressing and developing, not just at football but also with each other, forming bonds and lifetime friendships, with ourselves and each other.
Smiles on faces win lose or draw, a place to learn the game, improve their talent, being part of a team, feeling they have a second family at Blackley Lions.
A continuous interest from the community, local schools and businesses becoming involved and complementing each another within the community.
COACH NOT POACH
ANY DOWNSIDES OF JUNIOR FOOTBALL COACHING?
Teams who's only remit is to win at all costs, only selecting the best kids and disregarding those deemed less talented this is fine to some extent at the professional level, where success is all and the public are charged good money to be entertained and players paid a fortune to win.
At junior level, winning is also important but less so than the simple enjoyment of the game.
Some of the kids when they first arrive at our club have never kicked a ball, that's fine with us, after all that's why we are here, to teach, to coach and to make kids realise that they belong, that they can improve within a team environment and most of all enjoy the sport.
After all who doesn't perform at their best enjoying what they do, in any field of en-devour.
Other downsides include a lack of local facilities, running costs and lack of money filtering down from Premier League.
Interested in getting involved with the club?
Please feel free to contact us at :
Blackleylionsjfc@gmail.com or the clubs head coach Gary Howard ( 07752787493 )
GARY HOWARD - HEAD COACH
With special thanks to Dave K photography
Gary and Sarah Howard, Jane Halliday
THE BLACKLEY LIONS JFC