A.F.C. Telford United
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|Full name||Association Football Club Telford United|
|Nickname(s)||The Bucks or Lillywhites|
|Founded||27 May 2004|
|Ground||New Bucks Head
|2013–14||Conference North, 1st
A.F.C. Telford United are an English association football club based in Telford, Shropshire. In the 2014–15 season the club will participate in the Conference Premier, the fifth tier of English football, as the 2013–14 champions of the Conference North. The club plays its home matches in Wellington, which forms part of the new town of Telford. Telford is one of the largest towns in England without a Football League club.
The club were formed following the demise of Telford United F.C., due to a series of mounting debts accrued by the former chairman's other business interests caused the old club to collapse. Lee Carter, formerly head of the old clubs' supporters association, was instrumental, with the support of the newly formed Supporters' Trust, in establishing a community focused, run and owned club to serve the community and learn from the mistakes and mismanagement of the old regime. Bernard McNally was installed as the manager as the team embarked on their first ever season in the Northern Premier League Division One, after a triple-relegation due to the old club's insolvency. The club's colours are black and white.
The town of Telford's original football club, Telford United F.C. also formerly known as Wellington Town F.C., were experiencing severe financial difficulties towards the end of the 2003–04 season following the collapse of chairman and 100% shareholder Andrew John Shaw's business empire and were forced into administration. The club's supporters rallied and raised around £50,000 in two months, but with very large debts owed to various creditors amounting to over £4 million there was little hope for the club, and Telford United were forced into liquidation on 27 May 2004. On the same day that the proposed liquidation was announced the Supporters' trust, Telford United Supporters Ltd, created and became the sole owners of a new football club, AFC Telford United, giving the club the Latin motto numquam obliviscere (never forget). In the close season, manager Bernard McNally was appointed and a new squad assembled, the ground lease and assets were secured and the new club was placed in the Northern Premier League Division One by The Football Association.
In their first season, the club began with indifferent form, with a lack of consistency leaving them in mid-table and out of both the FA Cup and FA Trophy. However, following a 1–0 away defeat at Willenhall Town on 30 December 2004, the side didn't lose another league game all season, challenging for the title before eventually finishing third place, three points behind the champions North Ferriby United. In the subsequent playoffs, they defeated Eastwood Town 1–0 before defeating Kendal Town 2–1 in the final to clinch promotion. The final was attended by 4,215 people, a record in that league.
Midway through their second season Telford were second from bottom in the league, leading to the removal of manager McNally, to be replaced by Sean Parrish as caretaker. Results improved immediately, and the side were unbeaten under Parrish's guidance. On Thursday 16 February Rob Smith was announced as the club's new manager, assisted by Larry Chambers. The pair had been managing Willenhall Town. The new regime started with an unbeaten run and Telford finished the season in 10th place.
After a summer of transfer activity during which virtually the entire squad was renovated AFC Telford United topped the Northern Premier League table after 15 games, accumulating the best goal difference of any senior team in the British Isles. Telford could not maintain championship-winning form and a 2–1 home defeat to fellow challengers Burscough on the final game of the season, in front of a record crowd of 5,710, left the club finishing third, enough to qualify for the promotion play-offs. A 2–0 home win over Marine in the play-off semi-final was followed by a 3–1 away win at Witton Albion to give the club its second promotion in three years.
During the 2008–09 season, AFC Telford United showed a good run of cup form, reminiscent of the famed 'giant killers' reputation garnered by the old club. On 28 October 2008 the club secured a 3–0 victory over Northwich Victoria to secure a berth in the first round proper of the FA Cup for the first time. A fortnight later on 8 November, two goals from Jon Adams saw Telford come from behind against League One side Southend, who agonisingly equalised in injury time to prevent a major cup upset. Although the Bucks walked away with a very creditable 2–2 draw, the replay at Roots Hall was not fortuitous, as the teams 15-game unbeaten streak (in all competitions) was ended with a 2–0 loss. However, Telford continued their fine cup form in the FA Trophy, but a 4–1 aggregate loss to York City in the semi-finals denied the team a place at Wembley, and a chance to echo the joint record-winning endeavours of the club's previous iteration.
Telford won their first silverware since reforming on 9 April 2009, defeating Forest Green Rovers at The New Lawn on penalties, after a goalless 90 minutes. Ryan Young saved all three Rovers penalties, with Jon Adams, Mark Danks and Gavin Cowan completing a 3–0 penalty demolition. The jubilant scenes that followed, with Telford supporters flooding the pitch and celebrating with the players, showed the watching public just how far the club had come in its five years in existence.
A third consecutive finish in a playoff position meant that Telford faced Alfreton Town in the first leg of the 2008–9 Conference North Semi-final Playoffs on 29 April, a game which they subsequently won 2–0, thanks to goals by Emeka Nwadike and Danny Carey Bertram. The second leg was played on 3 May with Telford losing 4–3 but securing a 5–4 aggregate victory and a place in the playoff final against Gateshead on 8 May.
The play-off final against was played at Gateshead due to them finishing in a higher league position than Telford. Gateshead went on to win the match 1–0 with a goal coming in the last 10 minutes of the game after Telford had fullback Lee Vaughan sent off only a few minutes before.
After the end of a disappointing 2009–10 season Rob Smith and Larry Chambers left Telford, to be replaced by Andy Sinton supported by Darren Reid and John Psaras.
Telford finished second in the 2010–11 Conference North and qualified for the play-offs. After beating Nuneaton Town 3–2 on aggregate in the semi-final they won the final against Guiseley 3–2, Phil Trainer scoring an injury-time winner. As a result, A.F.C. Telford United played the 2011–12 in the Conference National, the last division that the club's previous incarnation had competed in. The club stayed out of the relegation zone all season. The club secured safety with two games still remaining, with Phil Trainer again scoring the winner in a 1 – 0 victory over Tamworth at the New Bucks Head on 17 April 2012.
Manager Andy Sinton left the club by mutual consent after two and a half seasons in charge on 31 January 2013. He was replaced by Mark Cooper, who proceeded to earn just one point from the next six games, before resigning to take a coaching role at Swindon Town; Graham Hyde in turn took over from Cooper, and lasted just two games, quitting after a dismal defeat at the hands of Macclesfield Town in which Telford failed to manage a single shot on their opponent's goal, leaving John Psaras in charge. Psaras was assisted by former striker Alex Meechan who returned from Colwyn Bay. Goalkeeper Ryan Young and midfielder Phil Trainer also assisted with day-to-day management of the team. Telford were relegated from the Conference National after a 3–0 defeat at home to Nuneaton Town.
Liam Waston was appointed at Telford manager for the start of the 2013–14 season. After a somewhat faltering start, Telford found form and favour on their side during the Christmas period, and went on a run, including seven consecutive victories in March, to clinch the Conference North title on the final day of the season, with a 3–0 victory against Gainsborough Trinity.
AFC Telford United play their home games at the New Bucks Head. Construction of the stadium commenced in 2000, replacing the Bucks Head ground which had been home to Wellington Town and later Telford United for over a century, which was in much need of renovation. In between the old ground closing and new one opening, Telford United played with only two terraces in operation, with a small temporary stand situated on what is now the East Terrace and portable cabins in the car park were used for changing rooms.
The stadium, which could originally hold up to 6,300 supporters was completed in 2003 and was the 111th largest football ground in England, the official capacity is now 5,400. AFC Telford had the highest average attendance in the Conference North  in the 2010–11 season, with an average gate of 1,946.
AFC Telford United's local rivals are nearby Shropshire neighbours Shrewsbury Town, while the teams have not yet competed in the league, the Shropshire Senior Cup final is often contended between the sides.
While in the Northern Premier League, local derbies were contended with Willenhall Town, Leek Town, Hednesford Town and Witton Albion, the latter of whom The Bucks defeated 3–1 in the play-off final of 2006–07 season.
Since their return to the Conference league system, AFC Telford United have been re-united with former rivals, including Tamworth and Stafford Rangers. While in the Conference National, rivals included Wrexham and Hereford United.
- As of 12 September 2014.
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
|Season||Captain||Vice Captain||3rd Captain|
|2004–2005||Sean Parrish||David Andrewartha||Duane Courtney|
|2006–2007||Steve Pope||Steve Palmer||Carl Rodgers|
|2007–2008||Steve Jagielka||Jimmy Turner|
|2011–2012||Chris Blackburn||Jay Smith|
|2012–2013||Ryan Valentine||Ryan Young|
|2013–2014||Simon Grand||Ryan Young|
|2014–2015||Steve Akrigg||Sean Clancy|
The following players are current or ex players who have played for A.F.C. Telford United and their country at any level.
Management and coaching staff
- Assistant manager:
- Dominic Morley
- First team coach :
- Youth team manager :
- Lewis Taylor
- Goalkeeper coach:
- Andy Pryce
- Youth Team Goalkeeper coach:
- Daryl Smith
- Kit manager:
- Derek Wellings
- Brin May
- Chris Roberts
- Club physician:
- Dr Nick Tindall
- Medical practitioner:
- Simon Hester
|Year Joined||Year Left||Manager|
|2013||2013||Mark Cooper (interim manager)|
|2013||2013||John Psaras (caretaker manager)|
- Champions 2013–14
Conference North Play-offs
- Winners 2008–09, 2013–14
- Runners Up 2004–05, 2005–06, 2006–07, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2011–12
Supporters Direct Cup Winners 2010–11
|2004–05||Northern Premier League Division One||8||3||42||23||11||8||78||44||34||80||Playoff promotion||Pre||Pre||Final||Northern Premier League Challenge Cup
Northern Premier League Chairmans Cup
|2005–06||Northern Premier League Premier Division||7||10||42||14||17||11||54||52||2||59||2Q||3Q||Final||Northern Premier League Challenge Cup||3R|
|2006–07||Northern Premier League Premier Division||7||3||42||21||15||6||72||40||32||78||Playoff promotion||1Q||1Q||Final||Northern Premier League Challenge Cup||1R|
|2007–08||Conference North||6||2||42||24||8||10||70||43||27||80||Playoff semi-finalist||2Q||1R||SF||Conference League Cup||3R|
|2008–09||Conference North||6||4||42||22||10||10||65||34||31||76||Playoff Finalists||1R||SF||Winners||Conference League Cup||Winners|
|2010–11||Conference North||6||2||40||23||13||4||71||29||42||82||Playoff promotion||3Q||3R||Final||Supporters Direct Cup||Winners|
|2012–13||Conference National||5||24||46||6||17||23||52||79||−27||35||Relegated||4Q||2R||Final Scrapped|
|2013–14||Conference North||6||1||42||25||10||7||82||53||29||85||Promoted as champions||2Q||1R||Winners|
Brackets ( ) Indicate still in the competition.
All of the below records for AFC Telford United since reforming in 2004.
- Record home win: 6–0 vs Scarborough Athletic 16 November 2013 (FA Trophy 3rd Qualifying Round)
- Record away win: 7–0 vs Runcorn FC Halton 17 April 2006.
- Record home defeat: 5–1 vs Southport 22 March 2008
- 4–0 vs Hereford United 20 April 2013
- Record away defeat: 6–1 vs Guiseley 1 April 2014
- Record home crowd: 5710 vs Burscough 28 April 2007
- Record away crowd: 5450 vs Bristol Rovers 23 August 2014.
- Unbeaten run 37 games, 21 January 2006 to 9 December 2006
- Best league finish: 20th, Conference National 2011–12.
- Best FA Cup performance: first round replay – Away vs Southend United 8 November 2008 (0–2) Following a 2–2 draw at the New Bucks Head.
- Best FA Trophy performance: Semi-final – vs York City 20 March 2009 (1–4 aggregate)
- Best Shropshire Senior Cup performance: Winners – Twice
- Best Northern Premier League Challenge Cup performance: third round – Home vs Witton Albion, 7 January 2006 (0–1)
- Best Northern Premier League Chairman's Cup performance: Semi-final – Home vs Kidsgrove Athletic, 5 March 2005 (1–3 AET)
- Best Setanta Shield Performance: Winners 2009 – Away vs Forest Green 9 April 2009 (0–0, won 3–0 on penalties)
- Top 10 goalscorers of all time (as of 9 May 2011)
- 1st Andy Brown 52 (2008–2011)
- 2nd Lee Moore 35 (2006–2009)
- 3rd Kyle Perry 33(2004–2006 and loan for the 2011–12 season scoring 1 goal)
- 4th Phil Trainer 29 (2009–2013)
- 5th Danny Carey-Bertram 28 (2008–2011)
- 6th Luke Reynolds 25(2005–2006), (2007–2008)
- 7th Carl Rodgers 19 (2006–2012)
- 7th Jon Adams 19 (2007–2012)
- 9th Steve Foster 18 (2006–2007)
- 10th Terry Fearns 17 (2008–2009)
- 11th Matty Lewis 15 (2007–2009)
- Most goals in one season: Kyle Perry, 23 goals (2004–05)
- Most appearances: Ryan Young 376 appearances.
- Longest serving player: Ryan Young(June 2007 – May 2014) Carl Rodgers (June 2006 – May 2012)
- Record signing (inward): Lee Moore from Tamworth on 8 December 2006 for a fee of £5,000.
- Record signing (outward): Duane Courtney to Burnley on 31 August 2005 for an initial fee of £25,000.
- Love my Town accessed 4 May 2008
- "Nuneaton manager Kevin Wilkin looks ahead to next year". BBC. 9 May 2011. Retrieved 17 May 2011.
- "AFC Telford 3–2 Guiseley". BBC. 9 May 2011. Retrieved 15 May 2011.
- "AFC Telford United Manager Andy Sinton Leaves By Mutual Consent". 31 January 2013. Retrieved 31 January 2013.
- "I wanted to pack it in". Preston and Leyland Citizen. 6 September 2005. Retrieved 26 May 2010.