FF 75 – Rutherford Football Club

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Rutherford Football Club

Rutherford AFC is a fine example of the progress that a club with a strong set up in place behind the scenes. Football Focus Magazine recently caught up with their Director of Football Sara Coxon to find out more about the club.  

Involvement 

She told us, “I have been involved in the club since I could walk; in fact, actually even before hand! My Dad, Steve Coxon, was the man behind Rutherford AFC and all that it is today. I wasn’t massively into football as a youngster but my little sister Katherine was; she was the reason my Dad first started off the junior section in order for her to have somewhere to play. I then bought in to what the club was about and found my love for it ever since.” 

The Role  

“The most challenging aspects of my role are managing all the daily tasks of a football club and balancing that to ensure it doesn’t affect my home life. The most rewarding part of my role at the club is on a weekend, in particular a Saturday morning.  

We are a central venue for the Gateshead Youth League and seeing all the kids playing a sport they love, laughing, smiling and enjoying it makes me realise that all the hard work is worth it. Our U8’s and U17’s have improved no end this season and aren’t an easy opponent for any team they face anymore.” 

Atmosphere 

“The general mood at the club is great. All of our teams are competing each week and we are getting some excellent results reported. Right from our U7’s to our Senior Men’s and Ladies we are stronger than ever this season and that is carrying a great feel good mood throughout the entire club.” 

2017/18 

“All of our teams are competing each week and some have started off the season extremely well. Both our senior and junior teams have gotten off to some terrific starts seeing score lines in double figures and some absolutely belter goals being scored. Our first team men’s side ended last season just escaping relegation but there’s a big difference now.   

They are playing some excellent football and despite losing their first two games against the teams currently sitting 1st and 2nd place, they have then embarked on a nine game unbeaten run, winning six and scoring a boatload of goals.” 

Plans 

“We plan to keep moving forward as we are doing now. Everything seems positive and steps are being made to improve the club as it ventures in to the coming seasons. Hopefully members of the club will continue to get on board as the club carries on growing over time.” 

Community 

“We have maintained our Charter Standard Community Award for many years now. We hold weekly Rainbow and Brownie groups, are looking into starting up a running group and host events for all of the community not just our football members. For example, last year was the first year that Lobley Hill had its own firework display and that was provided by our club. Due to the success we are holding one again this year.” 

Facilities 

“We are very happy with the facilities we have; we are aware of how lucky we are to have such great grounds. Like anything there is always room for improvement, especially after years of wear and tear on certain areas. I am currently undergoing fund raising to resurface our car park as it is full of pot holes, this will be an expensive job to have it all tarmacked but I’m working hard to see what help I can get.” 

Ladies 

“Our ladies section is going from strength to strength and this season in particular we are recruiting like crazy. We have built ourselves a great reputation and that is becoming clear to outsiders of the club.   

I am still involved in running the ladies and now have a great coach in helping out which has had a huge impact in our great start to the season. We are further developing the section now, creating playing opportunities for girls under 16 who want to play in all girls team. We are looking forward to getting this up and running and have the core of a great team already.” 

Challenges/Ambitions 

“I think like any football club, one of the biggest challenges we will face is increases in fees, machinery, ground maintenance equipment and the funding cuts which we rely on to help get us through. We are currently looking into different revenue streams for the club in future which can make us become a lot more self-sufficient should such cuts come into play. 

The club’s ambitions over the next five years is to develop a girls section, continue to have and grow the playing opportunities for all ages and to help develop and build confidence to all players who step foot into the club. We all have plans for various ground improvements to the lower field and car park area which will start to take affect within the next five years.” 

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