Monday, 16 March 2015


Dorking Football Club spent one season in the Isthmian Premier Division in 1993/94 and then dropped down to the Third Division by 1997/98. The club moved to the Combined Counties League Premier Division for the 2006/07 season and were relegated to Division One in 2013. The club were forced to move from their Meadowbank home in October 2013 when it was closed for health and safety issues - they currently ground share with Horley Town. 

Luckily the a group of local business people have taken over the club with a Community Interest Company being formed in 2014. Here courtesy of the club is their vision of the future for Dorking Football club. 

Hopefully The Chicks can find stability and start to climb up the leagues. In the 1992/93 season they reached the First Round Proper of the FA Cup losing 2-3 at home to Plymouth Argyle.  Good luck to everyone involved.

Dorking FC is arguably the oldest senior club remaining in Surrey and proud of its long history and association with its home town. Following the club coming under new ownership in 2014, it has been established as a Community Interest Company - operating in the interests of the local area, football and sport at all levels.

The club's Board consists of successful local businessmen, committed grassroots football administrators with a track record of fostering inclusive community clubs that promote sport for all at senior and youth levels, as well as legal and national broadcasting professionals.
The club is run as a social enterprise. Doing the right thing for the town and the wider community is the driving ethos behind every decision made by Dorking FC.

The Team
Football clubs were formed by their community – local players playing local football. It wasn’t until the last two or three decades that this dynamic changed so significantly. Transport and mobility have contributed - but aspirations and egos have also taken over from social enterprise, with match results taking precedence over local foundation, identity and development.

We are building a truly representative team for Dorking – encouraging and developing young local players to play for their town’s team. It may take a little longer to bring success on the pitch, but Dorking FC will be a team of primarily local players that local people watching can relate to – and many will know and have seen grow up in the town, its schools and nearby villages.
We have worn the Dorking Cockerel on our badge for 135 years – and don’t do so lightly. We have earned it through history, and must continue to do so. With a club of locally associated players, we will have a team that wears the Cockerel and the Cockerel Colours with pride.

Youth Section
In an area of many thriving and successful youth football clubs, Dorking FC will not have a youth section – as a matter of principle.

We are by far the longest-standing senior club in the town with connections to all sections of the local community and area. As such, rather than creating our own youth section (which could then be seen to be favoured), we aim to work with and assist all the grassroots youth football clubs.
Our Board has a long track record of working in local youth football and recognises the huge voluntary contribution made by parents who give up their time to provide valuable sport and recreation for our young people. We want to foster and assist with that – through making our coaching expertise and facilities available wherever possible, encouraging young people to play the game in the right way and providing a senior focal point for all grassroots youth football clubs.
Our Under 18s are made up of players from a range of local clubs, offering a route for players in youth clubs to take a step into adult football and ensure their youth passions for sport are not extinguished at 16.
As part of our commitment to helping local young people pursue their football into adulthood, we provide free football coaching for Under 18s. It’s a vital link to our first team and our aim of creating a truly representative team for Dorking. Already, in our first year, many local under 18 players have been involved with and played in the first team. And our senior players have relished helping them make their next step as they continue to enjoy playing football into their adult lives.

A Blueprint for Local Grassroots Football
There are some excellent examples of grassroots football clubs, and there are some terrible ones. What seems to set the best apart from the rest is a balance of fiduciary organisation and social enterprise with a realistic and sustainable plan. It has remarkably little to do with on-pitch results.

Success can mean different things to different people, but success does not necessarily translate to long term security or community benefit. For a local, grassroots football club success has to be measured in community association and value.
The successful clubs are run with pride and a common set of values that flow from the boardroom to the changing room. Ego has no part to play. We will know we have been successful when, ten years from now, we have built a social club as much as a football club and restored Dorking FC as the sporting pride of the town, regardless of the result on a Saturday afternoon.
Consequently, our ten year plan builds a holistic football club that balances football, business, community and social enterprise. We passionately believe that Dorking FC can not only be seen as a blueprint for how a grassroots football club should be run, but one that people in the Football Association recognise as THE blueprint. We intend to set Dorking FC as the standard against which all other grassroots football clubs are measured.

We couldn’t end our vision without mentioning our beloved Meadowbank – the ancestral home of Dorking FC since the 1950s and one of the jewels in the crown of local grassroots football.

Dorking FC’s Meadowbank home ground is an iconic location in the heart of a rural community. The backdrop of the Surrey Hills and the occasional peel of the church bells that can be heard from St. Martin’s set it apart, and it is one of the few football clubs in the country still to be located in the very centre of a traditional market town.
When the Board took over the club in 2014, Meadowbank – its location, history and everything it can contribute to Dorking’s town centre - was one of the main factors that enthused the local people involved. The ground had been closed in 2013 and was threatened with development for retail or housing – but the Board pledged to secure the future of football and return Dorking FC there as soon as possible.
When it opened in 1953, Meadowbank was the pride of the town and the local community. We are delighted that ambitious Councillors and Officers at Mole Valley District Council shared our vision to restore it as a focal point of the town centre. The Council has committed to a fantastic £4 million pound redevelopment with a brand new clubhouse and a 3G all-weather artificial pitch (consigning the famous ‘Dorking bobble’ to footballing history). It will not only be the home of Dorking FC, but a sporting facility for use by schools, youth clubs and local people.
We are delighted that the revitalisation of Dorking FC has provided the catalyst for a project that will once again make Meadowbank the pride of the town, and provide a great sports legacy. 

Dorking FC is expected to kick off the inaugural game at the new Meadowbank in July/August 2016.

The club are currently 12th of 16 teams in the Combined Counties League Division One. They travel to Eversley and California on Saturday 21st March before a midweek trip to Sandhurst Town and then go to AFC Croydon Athletic on Saturday 28th March. Their next "home" game comes on Tuesday 31st March when Banstead Athletic visit. Horley Town's ground known as The New Defence is roughly 13 miles from Meadowbank. 

No comments:

Post a Comment