A new name will appear in local football next season in Upshire Forest FC. The club have been formed recently and will play in the Hertford and District League for the 2016/17 campaign. TheColdEnd spoke to Aaron Rich, a man who will be very busy as he is the Chairman, Secretary, Manager and a player for the new club.
WHAT'S YOUR FOOTBALLING HISTORY?
I started playing as a 10 year old for a local club called Abbey Youth coming through the ranks until under 15 level when I was scouted to play for Cuffley FC where I played for one season. I joined Broxbourne Rangers at the age of 16 and stayed there for one season before rejoining Abbey Youth at under 18 level - with my old team mates we won the league being unbeaten and also had a good cup run beating Grays Athletic u18s. I was very pleased to pick up a few awards that season. I took a break from football until 2013 where I played for a Hertford and District League team based in Hoddesdon called "King William FC". We reached the league cup final that year and also were promoted from Division Two to Division One. I stayed for two years leaving at the end of last season.
HOW DID THE FORMATION OF UPSHIRE FOREST COME ABOUT? WHAT'S THE STORY BEHIND THE NAME?
I decided to form the club this year as the previous club I played for was taken over by new management and not run to the potential it could be in my opinion. Many of the players were too good to split up and as it's always been someting I've wanted to do, I decided to keep us together and give it a go doing things my way with my own ideas. I have always lived in Upshire so it was always going to be a local name - after hours of noting down different options I thought Upshire Forest was the best one.
WILL ALL THE PLAYERS BE LOCALLY BASED? ARE YOU LOOKING FOR NEW PLAYERS?
Most of the players live in Waltham Abbey and Cheshunt. We do have some who live a little further away and even one who is going to travel from Thurrock. I must thank two of our player/coaches who have worked hard and helped so much taking some pressure off my shoulders. Scott Fish and Sam Tulley are two very talented lads, both with a big commitment to the new club. We are always looking for new players as any club always is - at this level of football it's hard to keep everyone happy and playing every week so players do come and go.
WHERE ARE YOU GOING TO PLAY YOUR HOME GAMES?
Our home pitch will be in Waltham Abbey on the Town Mead Leisure Park. There are excellent pitches there with a clubhouse and bar.
WHAT ARE YOUR AIMS FOR THE NEXT FEW SEASONS?
My target for the first season is to go out and challenge for the league title and possibly reach a cup final. Some people may think that is a high target to reach but with the ability I have in my squad I wouldn't expect anything less - quite a few have played at a higher level and some have had the chance to play at a higher level but due to work commitments have had to drop back down. Unless your contracted to a club and earning a weekly wage there's not enough money in it to give up work.
WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THE HERTFORD & DISTRICT LEAGUE?
The league is very well ruin with many of the clubs having decent playing surfaces so you can play some nice football without the the ball bouncing all over the place like most Sunday league teams. The cups are well organised with a great venue for the final (The County Ground in Letchworth) where I've had the privilege of playing as my team reached the cup final in 2014.
LONG BALL OR NICE PASSING?
We will definitely be playing nice attractive football rather than lumping it up field. I believe in playing to your strengths and we have some very technically gifted players who are more than capable of playing that style of play. All our training is based around playing short passing - for example using smaller pitches and the three touch rule.
YOU CAN FOLLOW UPSHIRE FOREST FC ON TWITTER - @UpshireForestFC
THEY ALREADY HAVE PRE-SEASON FRIENDLY GAMES ARRANGED AGAINST EPPING CRUSADERS, HERTFORD HEATH, SHEPALL UNITED, MANGROVE FC, WARE LIONS RESERVES AND REBWOOD GREEN. GOOD LUCK TO AARON AND HIS TEAM FOR THE FORTHCOMING SEASON.