Rushall Olympic F.C.

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Rushall Olympic
Official crest
Full name Rushall Olympic Football Club
Nickname(s) The Pics
Founded 1951
Ground Dales Lane,
Rushall
Walsall
Capacity 1,500[1]
Chairman John Allen
Manager Liam McDonald
League Southern League Premier Division Central
2017–18 Northern Premier League Premier Division, 8th of 24 (transferred)

Rushall Olympic Football Club is an English football club based in Rushall, a former mining village now forming part of the northern suburbs of Walsall. The team plays in the Southern League Premier Division Central.

History[edit]

Early years[edit]

Although football had been played in the village for at least 20 years previously, the earliest known reference to Rushall Olympic Football Club is in local newspaper reports on matches from the 1893–94 season. The club joined the Cannock & District League in 1895, finishing as runners-up in their first season and later joined the Junior (where they were champions in 1903–04), Amateur, Parks and Senior sections of the Walsall & District League.

During the inter-war years, the team won a number of local honours. At this time, the team comprised mainly local colliery workers and played on a field behind the Miners Arms pub in Rushall and changed in the pub itself. However, some time prior to the Second World War, the club disbanded.

Post-Second World War[edit]

Dales Lane, home of the Pics

In 1951, a group of local young men decided to re-form the club. They approached the proprietor of a local fish and chip shop for permission to use his premises as their headquarters and secured the use of Rowley Place as a home ground. The club joined the Walsall & District Amateur League, where the team won the Second Division championship in 1952–53, and later the First Division championship in 1955–56, after which they gained promotion to the Staffordshire County League (South), where they won the Second Division title at the first attempt.

Following promotion to the First Division, the club won four championship titles between 1960 and 1965. In 1975, in a bid to gain a higher league status, the club decided to move three miles away to the Aston University Sports Ground, just off the main A34 Walsall to Birmingham road. Meanwhile, the club obtained the lease on some land in Daw End, Rushall, and the new Dales Lane ground was officially opened on 14 August 1977.

The club were accepted into the West Midlands (Regional) League in 1978, and won the First Division title in 1980. The club enjoyed 14 seasons of moderate success in the Premier Division, with a highest finish of fifth place achieved in 1988–89. In 1994, the "Pics" became founder members of the new Midland Football Alliance. Although the late 1990s brought only mid-table performances in the league, the Pics did defeat the then-Southern League club Rocester at the Bescot Stadium – home of Walsall – in a penalty shoot-out to lift the Walsall Senior Cup in 2000.

After finishing in second place in both 2000–01 and 2002–03, the Pics finally claimed the league title in 2004–05, and with it promotion to the Southern League Division One West. They were then transferred to the Southern League Division One Midlands for the 2006–07 season, where they stayed for two years, qualifying for the play-offs in their last season by finishing fifth.

Due to the restructuring of Northern Premier League Division One, they were transferred yet again to the NPL Division One South for the 2008–09 season, when they again finished fifth and qualified for the play-offs. They were also unsuccessful in achieving promotion this time. Manager Paul Holleran then left the club to be replaced by Neil Kitching, who started his first season brightly before tailing off to finish in mid-table; the team also reached the final of the Walsall Senior Cup under Kitching.

Despite further budget restriction, Kitching was supported by a relatively youthful backroom staff, including Nick Amos and Ian Cooper, and they went on to finish third in the 2010–11 season, before going on to reach the play-off final, after a 3–0 win over Brigg Town in the semi final. A 2–0 victory over Grantham Town in the final saw Rushall Olympic reach the Northern Premier League Premier Division, the first time the club had ever reached the seventh level of the English football league system.

The first season at this higher level saw Rushall Olympic finish eighth in the league. They reached the final of three cup competitions: the league cup, where they lost to North Ferriby United after extra time; the Staffordshire Senior Cup, where they lost to Kidsgrove Athletic; and the Walsall Senior Cup, which they retained. Rushall also equalled their best ever performance in the FA Cup, reaching the fourth qualifying round, where they were knocked out by Stourbridge.

In 2012–13, Rushall made their debut in the first round proper of the FA Trophy, having qualified with victories over Woodford United, Chasetown and Droylsden. Their reward was a trip to Wrexham, where they suffered a defeat against a team that went on to win the final of the competition. In the league, Rushall again were on the verge of the play-offs finishing in sixth position, but failed to make the end of season competition.[2]

In 2013–14, Rushall Olympic made the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup before losing out at Grimsby Town. Rushall eventually finished in seventh place in the league, narrowly missing out on the play-offs. However, there were two cup final appearances, as the Pics lost out in the final of the Walsall Senior Cup but won the Staffordshire Senior Cup, beating Port Vale 2–1 at Vale Park. At the end of the season, the club parted company with manager of five years Neil Kitching; his assistant, Nick Amos, also left the club. Rushall then appointed former West Bromwich Albion and Bolton Wanderers midfielder Richard Sneekes as manager, with Steve Hinks as his assistant.[3]

Players[edit]

As of 24 January 2017.[4]

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 Sam Arnold
England GK Ryan Price
Cape Verde GK José Veiga
England DF Kadeem Brown
England DF Isaac Cooper
Cyprus DF Aris Christophorou
England DF Henry Eze
England DF Cameron Gayle
England DF Joe Hull
England DF Marcus Jackson
England DF Zak Martin
England MF Luke Bottomer
England MF Luke Delaney
England MF Jordan Fitzpatrick
England MF Aaron Forde
England MF Brad Lawley
No. Position Player
New Caledonia MF Mickaël Partodikromo
England MF Lee Smith
England MF Jack Squire
England MF Sam Whittall
England MF Bilal Yafai
Republic of Ireland MF Liam Lawrence
England FW Edilson Antonio
England FW Richard Brodie
England FW Dominic Dell
France FW Serigne Diop
England FW Daniel Dubidat
England FW Jak Jeys
England FW Jazz Luckie
England FW Josh McKenzie
England FW Stanley Mugisha
England FW Alex Reid
Jamaica FW Michael Wright

Staff[edit]

  • Manager: Liam McDonald

Honours[edit]

Club records[edit]

  • Best league performance: 6th in Northern Premier League, Premier Division (Step 3) 2012–13
  • Best FA Cup performance: Fourth Round Qualifying, 2007–08, 2011–12, 2013–14
  • Best FA Trophy performance: First Round Proper, 2012–13
  • Best FA Vase performance: Fifth round, 2000–01

Former players[edit]

Sources[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ground capacity info
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-12-25. Retrieved 2013-11-25.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-06-24. Retrieved 2014-07-21.
  4. ^ "Rushall Olympic Squad". Rushall Olympic official website. Archived from the original on 2013-06-05.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°36′3.128″N 1°57′8.179″W / 52.60086889°N 1.95227194°W / 52.60086889; -1.95227194