Outgoing Peterborough Sports chairman Stephen ‘Tommy’ Cooper has expressed his delight at the first team’s performance in their first season as an Evo Stik League club, but his eyes are also fixed firmly on the future.
Sports beat Corby 2-0 in their final Division One South fixture of the campaign on Saturday (April 28) to secure an impressive 12th place finish. They were bottom of the table and staring relegation in the face on January 27.
Cooper hands over the Sports’ chairmanship to local businessman Grant Biddle at the club’s Annual General Meeting in June. Biddle has also secured naming rights for the club’s home ground at PSL, Lincoln Road.
Biddle takes over a club that is also thriving at youth team level. Sports’ successful Academy is holding two trial dates on May 30 and July 27.
Cooper, who will continue working for sports as a managing director, said: “With us not requiring any development to the ground for at least two years now (even if promoted next season) it gives me a chance to draw breath and try to get to grips with some of our commercial activity without getting buried in the day-to-day tasks.
“We won’t know until the end of May what league we will be in next season, but there are a couple of other developments at the club to announce.
“We will be into our second year running an Academy building on the success of this year’s intake of 19 students, with two of them making the first team squad.
“Marc Burchett will again be running our highly successful Elite Academy who enjoyed title wins at Under 12, Under 15 & Under 16 levels this season.
“Meanwhile the club will run an Under 16 side in the Peterborough & District Youth League, an Under 17 side in the new Eastern Junior Alliance as well as Under 18 side in the Thurlow Nunn. All of our youth sides are going to finish in the top two of their leagues to make us the leading club locally for both junior and senior non-league football.
“We are looking to create a natural bridge from our youth & academy set up into mens’ football, which we will facilitate by re-naming our reserve side as Peterborough Sports Development and they will continue in the Peterborough League Premier Division. The three division gap to the first team is not ideal, so we may look to send players out to local United Counties League clubs as well to help prepare lads for what is a decent step up.
“Naturally we are delighted with how the first team have performed in 2018, with what amounts to play-off form, and with our crowds up 76% for our first year at Step 4 and over 50 season tickets for next season sold already, we are not far away from having a solid platform from which to move forward again.”
Anyone interested in attending Sports’ Academy trials should contact Head of Academy Marc Burchett on 07850 002082 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.