You don’t have to spend hundreds of pounds on a season ticket for your favourite Barclays Premier League football club in order to see some good football. Thrilling, skilful match play can be witnessed pretty much every week of the season in the Kent County League, and with so many divisions in the league, there is football to watch at nearly every level of skill and ability. The Premier Division definitely has its merits, but that is no reason to ignore the feats and accomplishments of teams that are fighting it out in the lesser divisions in order to be crowned champions. Located below is a brief journey through the details of five such teams that have recently come out on top of Division One East.
2007-08 - Blyth Spartans AFC
Though this may be going back a few years, it cannot be forgotten that Blyth Spartans AFC were crowned champions of Division One East for the 2007-08 season. The so-called “green army” left runners-up AFC Sheppey with a bitter taste in their metaphorical mouths this year, a taste that was only to get worse when the aforementioned team were stuck as runners up yet again the following year.
Blyth Spartans AFC – known to their fans as the “green army” – are one of the Division One East victors whose history goes back over a hundred years, with their first league success coming in 1901. Their current manager is Tom Wade and their 4435-capacity football ground can be found at Croft Park in Blyth, Northumberland. The team currently participates in the Northern Premier League within the Premier Division where they finished 8th in the 2013-14 season.
The club have a fairly basic website but there you will find information about the first team such as recent news (the site is maintained well and kept up to date with relevant information). The history section is a little lacking, but a quick glance at their Wikipedia page will reveal a wealth of detail about the club.
2008-09 - Canterbury City
The beautiful city of Canterbury deserves a football club that plays great football, and in the 2008-09 season this is exactly what Canterbury City did. They were crowned champions of the Division One East league in the 2008-09 season after moving up as a result of their 2007-08 victory Division Two East. They also managed to work their way to runners-up position in the Premier Division of the league in the 2010-11 season, but unfortunately failed to become champions.
Interestingly, the team are currently based at play Herne Bay and reformed in 2007 as the first Community Interest Company Club. Even more impressive is the fact that this team is one of the few clubs that run a homeless team that competes in the Canterbury and District League.
Though the club didn’t officially come about until 1947, their history in one form or another can be traced back to the 1800s. They are currently managed by Adrian Gower and at the time of writing are playing in the Southern Counties East League for the 2013-14 season. The club’s philanthropic tendencies certainly deserve recognition, so visit their website at http://www.canterburycityfc.com/.
2009-10 - Woodstock Park
Not to be confused with the similarly-named Woodstock Sports FC, Woodstock Park were champions of the 2009-10 season in Division One East. The club is located in Sittingbourne, Kent and was founded relatively recently in 2002. They have a fairly tumultuous history with the Kent County League, entering in Division Two East and finishing as runners up before enjoying two seasons in Division One East, after which they were relegated. A further four seasons would pass before their return to Division One East where they were runners up in the 2008-09 season and finally victorious in the 2009-10 season Their entry into the Kent Invicta Football league didn’t last too long however since they re-joined the Kent County League soon afterwards.
If you would like more information about the club, check out their page on Pitch Hero.
2010-11 - Bromley Green
“Friendship in Distress is the Essence of Virtue” is the motto of Bromley Green FC, and one that is stated clearly on the banner of their website. This diverse football club has a women’s team and a team called the BG Valiants, in addition to their first sides of course. This is a team whose history dates back to the earlier parts of the 20th century. Formed in 1930, “The Green” still exists today and is a regular in a variety of cups and tournaments.
2013-14 - Guru Nanak
Guru Nanak is the club that has most recently lifted the trophy of Division One East, at the expense of Borden Village FC. The club is based on Trinity Road in Kent and are the area’s largest multi-cultural football club. Their history is rich with participation in local leagues and can be traced back at least 50 years to the 1960s and 1970s.
The team is to this day still competing in the Kent County Football League, with regular fixtures and news about their progress and plans located on the Guru Nanak FC website.