Meet the group of mums who refused to let their football club die
31 January 2018

Meet the group of mums who refused to let their football club die

After a tireless effort to build their club up from the ground, a committed group of mums now need help to cope with a wave of interest.

They’ve gone from the brink of folding to having 200 players on their books.

At weekly sessions now, it’s not uncommon to see the pitch packed with boys and girls, all eager to impress, while their equally committed parents catch-up on the sidelines.

But it hasn’t always been like this.

Just a few years ago Nicola Johns had fears that the club that nurtured internationals like Jason Perry, David Pipe and Robert Earnshaw might be forced to close its doors.

But the tireless work of an army of parents determined to build the club back to its former glory, has kicked things on again.

Mrs Johns said: “We are now in a position where we need more help, because if we had all the resources required we could be looking at 200 players this season. But that would be dependent on volunteers and training facilities, particularly through the winter.”

“Their friendships are growing on and off the pitch. We’re not just teaching them to dribble a ball, we’re teaching them life skills.

“They shake hands at the end of each game and they see all the work that goes into building a club.”

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Their ‘Family Club’ ethos has made BTM a club parents are prepared to drive past other teams to get their sons and daughters involved.

Last season they introduced sessions for U5 players while they continue to go from strength to strength at all other age groups.

Kerry Ford runs the club’s mini section, while her husband David is a coach and their two sons both play for the club.

She said: “We need more coaches. Ideally we want one coach for every 10 players because we want to train them properly and give them the skills that they need.

“Some of our coaches are involved with two teams because they have children in both but that’s not ideal.”

But the BTM family is about far more than football. These parents enjoy an active social life which involves bowling and darts nights, golf days, Christmas parties and watching Wales internationals together.

Mum Emma Salmoni said: “There wasn’t anywhere near as much community spirit five years ago.

“A massive effort has been made to create a BTM family that we are all very proud of.”

And team administrator for the U7 team Zoe Grist is confident the club can sustain its rapid growth.

She said: “We know we’ll lose some once winter kicks in but hopefully we can convince more parents to step-up as the season goes on and they’re confident their children will stay with us.

“I think BTM will always be part of our lives. The history of our family links with the club goes back to when my husband was eight and he lied about his age to be able to join the club.”

A level of commitment that is evident among most of the amazing parents and players at this community club.