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Community Church success

Posted: Mon 17 Dec 2012

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The Blues Community Department’s link-up with local non-league side Alvechurch Football Club is already beginning to pay dividends for both parties.

Blues community director Dean Holtham took over the managerial reigns at the Midland Alliance League outfit back in September when they were in the bottom three.


Holtham’s new role gives him a chance to utilise the skills of the BCFC’ Community Development players and at the same time give them valuable non-league experience


The Church have climbed rapidly up the table over the past three months and are currently in tenth place in the league and are also through to the second round of the Birmingham Senior Cup after beating a full-strength Leamington side 3-1 in the previous round.


Their reward for that is a second round tie against npower Championship side Wolves at their Lye Meadow ground this evening (Tuesday).*


Holtham is understandably pleased with the way the partnership is working for all parties.


“We’ve been running the education programme for about 15 years and when they get to 19 where do they go? he said. “Some go into professional football, some don’t do anything and some try and get into non-league, but it’s difficult because they don’t have experience as such.


“We’ve always been looking for a non-league club to take over and Alvechurch gave us that opportunity. The Alvechurch team now is mainly made up of our third years and the average is probably about 18 or 19 but even some of first years have been involved who are just 16 or 17.


“Despite their age they have adapted to men’s football really well, although we wouldn’t have put them in that situation if we didn’t think they could do it.


“Alvechurch have also benefited. They’ve got a team that’s out of the bottom three now and are playing some good football. The crowd’s have increased from an average of about 40 to 150 and everybody is enjoying it.


“Our aim was to bring our experience and professionalism to Alvechurch and to finish as high we can this season.”


As a special incentive to encourage Blues supporters to go along and show their support at tonight’s game (kick-off: 7.30pm, Tuesday), admission to Blues adult season ticket holders is just £3, with juniors (accompanied by an adult) admitted for free.