A.F.C. Telford United

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AFC Telford United
Telford United.png
Full name Association Football Club Telford United
Nickname(s) The Bucks, Lillywhites, United
Founded 27 May 2004; 11 years ago (2004-05-27)
Ground New Bucks Head
Ground Capacity 6,300[citation needed]
Chairman Ian Dosser
Manager Rob Smith
League National League North
2014–15 Conference Premier, 23rd

A.F.C. Telford United is an English association football club based in Telford, Shropshire, competing in the National League North, the sixth tier of English football. The club plays its home matches at the New Bucks Head 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.[1]

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 2007–08 season Telford finished second in the Conference North, again qualifying for the playoffs. A two-legged semi-final against Barrow saw Telford lose 0–4 on aggregate.

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[2] they won the final against Guiseley 3–2, Phil Trainer scoring an injury-time winner.[3] 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[4] 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 Watson 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. Watson and his Dominic Morley were sacked[5] by Telford United on 13 December 2014 following a run that saw the club lose 16 and win just four of their 24 league matches.


Main article: New Bucks Head

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 [6] in the 2010–11 season, with an average gate of 1,946.


Season Kit manufacturer Sponsor
2004–2005 Hummel Capgemini
2008–2009 Adidas
2011–2012 Nike
2012–2013 Macron
2013–2014 Adidas
2015–2016 Under Armour


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.


Current squad[edit]

As of 05 February 2016.

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
England GK James Montgomery
England GK Harry Burgoyne (on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers)
England GK Andy Pryce
England DF Darren Campion
Scotland DF Graham Hutchison (on loan from FC Halifax Town)
England DF Curtis Tilt
England DF Paul McCone
Guinea-Bissau MF Eusébio Bancessi (on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers)
England MF Sean Clancy
England MF Lucas Dawson
Northern Ireland MF Johnny Gorman
No. Position Player
England MF Jack Rea
England MF Izak Reid
England MF Dwayne Samuels
England MF Greg Wilkinson
England MF Michael Grogan
England MF Tom Tonks
England FW John Cofie
England FW David Hibbert
England FW Ryan Rowe
England FW Connor McCarthy (on loan from Southport)

Players out on loan[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
England DF Josh Brizell (on loan at Glossop North End)
England DF Kyle Brownhill (on loan at Hyde United)
England MF Zak Lilly (on loan at Sutton Coldfield Town)
England MF Jordan Goddard (on loan at Sutton Coldfield Town)


Season Captain Vice Captain 3rd Captain
2004–2005 Sean Parrish David Andrewartha Duane Courtney
2005–2006 Sean Parrish
2006–2007 Steve Pope Steve Palmer Carl Rodgers
2007–2008 Steve Jagielka Jimmy Turner
2008–2009 Stuart Whitehead
2009–2010 Stuart Whitehead
2010–2011 Shane Killock
2011–2012 Chris Blackburn Jay Smith
2012–2013 Ryan Valentine Ryan Young
2013–2014 Simon Grand Ryan Young
2014–2015 Sean Clancy Ian Sharps Godfrey Poku

International players[edit]

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[edit]

  • Manager:
    • Rob Smith
  • Assistant manager:
    • Larry Chambers
  • First team coach :
    • Steve Wynn
  • Goalkeeper coach:
    • Andy Pryce
  • Medical practitioner:
    • Simon Hester

Managerial history[edit]

Year Joined Year Left Manager
2004 2006 Bernard McNally
2006 2010 Rob Smith
2010 2013 Andy Sinton
2013 2013 Mark Cooper (interim manager)
2013 2013 Graham Hyde
2013 2013 John Psaras (caretaker manager)
2013 2014 Liam Watson
2014 2015 Steve Kittrick
2015 Rob Smith

Club honours[edit]

Conference North trophy

Conference North

Conference North Play-offs

Northern Premier League Premier Division Play-offs

Northern Premier League Division 1 Play-offs

Conference League Cup

Shropshire Senior Cup

  • Winners 2008–09, 2013–14
  • Runners Up 2004–05, 2005–06, 2006–07, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2011–12, 2014–15

Supporters Direct Cup Winners 2010–11

Season-by-season performance[edit]

Season Division Tier Pos Pld W D L GF GA GD Points Outcome FA
Senior Cup
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 Chairman's 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
2009–10 Conference North 6 11 40 14 9 17 52 55 −3 51 1R 3Q Final
2010–11 Conference North 6 2 40 23 13 4 71 29 42 82 Playoff promotion 3Q 3R Final Supporters Direct Cup Winners
2011–12 Conference National 5 20 46 10 16 20 45 65 −20 46 1R 2R Final
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
2014–15 Conference National 5 23 46 10 9 27 58 84 −26 36* Relegated 2R 2R Final
2015–16 National League North 6 22 28 6 5 17 23 43 −20 23 2Q 1R (Final)
  • *3 points were deducted for fielding an ineligible player

Brackets ( ) Indicate still in the competition.


Winners Runners up Promoted Relegated

Club records[edit]

All of the below records for AFC Telford United since reforming in 2004.

  • Record home crowd: 5710 vs Burscough 28 April 2007
  • Record away crowd: 6678 vs Bristol City 7 December 2014 (FA Cup 2nd Round)
  • Unbeaten run 37 games, 21 January 2006 to 9 December 2006
  • Best league finish: 20th, Conference National 2011–12.
  • Best FA Cup performance: Second Round, away vs Bristol City 6 December 2014 (0–1)
  • 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)
  • Conference League Cup: Winners 2009 – Away vs Forest Green 9 April 2009 (0–0, won 3–0 on penalties)

Player records[edit]

  • 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.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Love my Town accessed 4 May 2008
  2. ^ "Nuneaton manager Kevin Wilkin looks ahead to next year". BBC. 9 May 2011. Retrieved 17 May 2011. 
  3. ^ "AFC Telford 3–2 Guiseley". BBC. 9 May 2011. Retrieved 15 May 2011. 
  4. ^ "AFC Telford United Manager Andy Sinton Leaves By Mutual Consent". 31 January 2013. Retrieved 31 January 2013. 
  5. ^ "Liam Watson Sacked By The Bucks". 15 December 2014. Retrieved 15 December 2014. 
  6. ^ http://www.mikeavery.co.uk/DivisionalAttendance2011Average.htm
  7. ^ "I wanted to pack it in". Preston and Leyland Citizen. 6 September 2005. Retrieved 26 May 2010. 

External links[edit]