Football clubs to join forces

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STAMFORD AFC Football Development Centre and Cottesmore Amateurs are joining forces.

Cottesmore are being integrated into the Daniels youth set up and it will see them sharing players. Cottesmore will play in Stamford’s colours and will eventually assume the role of Stamford AFC’s reserves team.

They will continue to play at Rogues park in Cottesmore, but will drop the “Amateurs” from its name

It comes after vandals destroyed Cottesmore’s pavilion and equipment including mowers, nets and goalposts.

The club had feared it may go under but after the community rallied around it will start the season in the Leicestershire Senior League season on Tuesday.

Cottesmore chairman Allan Westray said: “I am very enthusiastic about the affiliation with Stamford as it will increase the resources available to us to run and develop the club.”

Ian Evley, chairman and football development officer of Stamford Football Development Centre, said: “Given Cottesmore’s recent misfortune with vandalism and the consequent threat to their very existence, we are delighted to have assisted them not only in securing their immediate future as a going concern, but to provide the opportunity to develop their on and off pitch activities to guarantee their long term viability.”

This season will see a period of integration and stabilisation with the two clubs sharing a number of progressive young players, plus coaching and infrastructure resources.

Cottesmore will use players from Stamford’s under 18 and under 21 teams to supplement its squad this season.

Evley said: “We already have a number of players from Rutland within our development centre teams, and with the affiliation of Cottesmore AFC we hope to be able to identify and recruit the best post-16 playing talent in the Stamford and Rutland area to offer them a relevant pathway into men’s senior football.”