FOOTBALL: Grantham league sides combine as Barrowby FC join Central Midlands League

Barrowby bosses Nigel Milne and Richard Payne and dug-outs undergoing construction at Lowlands.
Barrowby bosses Nigel Milne and Richard Payne and dug-outs undergoing construction at Lowlands.
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A team from the Grantham area are set to take on the might of the Central Midlands League next season as they make the step up to Step 7 of the FA football pyramid.

Grantham and District Saturday League Premier Division champions Barrowby FC have joined forces with Sunday League Premier Division table-toppers Ropsley Fox who also won the Lincs Sunday Cup.

The two sides already shared players and with both so dominant in their respective competitions, Barrowby boss Nigel Milne and Foxes’ boss Richard Payne took the decision to amalgamate and take on a bigger challenge.

Richard said the two sides’ players had plateaued and were ready for something to tests their mettle.

He said: “Four or five players played for both sides. There’s not that much difference between Saturday and Sunday leagues anymore.

“Some of the players have played at a higher level so it’s not really an enormous step up to the CML.”

Barrowby will play in the league’s South Division in which opposition will be mainly from Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.

Looking to the future, Richard and Nigel also see the side as something to really give Barrowby’s already successful youth teams an ambition to aspire to, rather than drifting away from the sport in their mid-teens.

Nigel said: “We see it as a natural progression for the youth players. It will be something for them to aim at.”

Preparations are already well in hand for joining the league with part of the criteria necessitating the club undertakes various improvements at their Lowlands ground, including the erection of metal railings around the pitch, laying down paths for spectators and building dug-outs.

The club has funded the ground improvements itself with volunteer work and sponsorship from main sponsor Grantham Honda, Sam Ballaam, Leatherland Plastering, Pearce Roofing, Bloomsbury Bread, Avanti Windows and Golden Fry Chip Shop.

Nigel praised his father Trevor Milne and Lee Dobson who he said were spending pratically all their time at the ground, readying improvements in time for the league’s ground inspection this month, and had secured equipment and sponsors.

Richard and Nigel also thanked the efforts of all the Barrowby Pavilion committee, Paul Milne, Sean O’Callaghan, Joe Clarke, Sam Dobson, Rob from Associated Timber Services, Arraquip, John Young, Margaret Bradshaw, Steve Richardson, Jacksons for donating building blocks and Nick Anderson who will be building the ground’s two dug-outs.

Visit Barrowby FC’s new website at www.barrowbyfc.net