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As a youth team, we reached the under 18s level and were offered the chance of going into the men’s league, or do as so many other teams do, see out their season at under 18s level, simply fold and allow friendships that were forged through Football to sadly drift apart.
At that same period in time Homelands was going through dark times, and there were whispers that the club might disappear for good. We chose to go into the Ashford and District Sunday League, (Men’s football) and keep the lads together under the flag of Ashford United Youth, Men’s Team. At the same time Homelands was winning its struggle to stay alive. We survived our first season in the Men’s league and Homelands survived its first rounds in the Courts, and those two periods in time were important to Ashford United Colts, as we were then known.
Eventually the Homelands Management team won its battle to survive, and in doing so took Ashford Youth under their wing, which at the time caused unease amongst the Managers, myself included, because we knew the road ahead would be filled with teething problems. I personally, along with the 3rd’s team Secretary Tracey Corps, thought that it would be the end of the youth’s men’s team because Homelands already had a men’s team, Ashford United.
And so with heavy hearts we went to the first youth Management meeting with Homelands expecting to be told that we were no longer needed as Homelands already had a first team. But Don Crosbie and Denise Peach would have none it and insisted that we continue under the name of Ashford United 3rds. So on a day when Tracey and I were expecting to be shown the door we were in fact reborn under a new name, Ashford United 3rds.
Our first season had its teething problems, which was to be expected, but we got through it. There is such a great feeling at Homelands about the club’s future and its football, which has found its way along the club’s corridors to our dressing room and the guys are really buzzing about the future.
Although we are known as United 3rds we operate as a community team and the door to our squad/team is always open 24/7. So I urge you, if at one time you played for the youth or you want to be part of a great club then come along and join the 3rds, and who knows maybe that will be your first step towards playing for the first team. I look forward to meeting you.
Roger Hadlum, Manager of Ashford United 3rds.
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