I consider Holme Rovers to be a very special football club. The chairman, Richard Brook, the committee members, the coaches, the parents and, of course, the players all work very hard to make Holme Rovers happen every Saturday and we all do a great job!
We could have never imagined the success of the club and how Holme Rovers have grown. We now have 2 senior teams, 5 junior teams and roughly 25 mini soccer players. Somewhere in the region of 100 young people participating in football with Holme Rovers. If you've not been down to the football pitches in Holme on a Saturday morning, you should, it's quite a sight to see.
I also could not have imagined what a supportive sponsor Holme Rovers would be gaining when I initially asked Mike O'Reilly, the owner of the McDonald's restaurant in Shiptonthorpe, to sponsor one of our junior teams. McDonald's now sponsor 2 Holme Rovers teams, the U9s and U10s. They have bought all the players a kit, water bottles, footballs and a ball bag. Mike made it very clear from the beginning that he didn't just want to throw money at the teams, he genuinely was interested and wanted to be involved and support Holme Rovers. He has been very true to his word, donating raffle prizes, pointing us in the right direction for funding and coming to cheer the teams on when he can. But this is something else.
There is a particular buzz about the club at the moment because the U9s and U10s teams are going to Wembley! These teams are sponsored by McDonald's and out of all the clubs up and down the country Holme Rovers U9s and U10s have been selected and invited to the Community Shield match at Wembley Stadium on Sunday 2nd August. Not only do the team get to go to Wembley and watch the Arsenal vs Chelsea game but 17 players and 2 coaches are going to be involved in a pitch parade prior to the kick off!
Only 8 teams throughout the UK have been selected to take part in this experience and we are one of them. When I spoke to Mike, who told me, I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I knew this was an opportunity not to be missed as it will be something that the players and parents will remember forever.
So on Sunday 2nd we are taking 60 people from the club to Wembley. The players will walk around the pitch with a Holme Rovers placard, taking in the noise and atmosphere of a full Wembley stadium crowd, getting cheered and hopefully feeing proud to be a Holme Rovers player. Can you imagine? The players then join the rest of the club ,with their parents, to enjoy the match.
Since telling the players it's fair to say they have all been extremely excited. The parents, I think, lit-tle more so as they realise the enormity of the occasion and that it is a once in a lifetime experience. I gath-ered some quotes from the players a week before we go. Charlie said, "it's just epic!". Max, "it's going to be amazing". Finley, "excited, going to be absolutely amazing." And for one very lucky player, Maddie she has unbelievably also won the chance to be a Chelsea mascot. So Maddie will walk onto the pitch with the Chelsea players and will receive a new kit.....it just gets better!
The players need to be at the stadium for 11.30am to go and be security checked, taken through a rehearsal and to have pictures taken by the press before they take to the pitch at 2.40pm, just before kick off at 3pm. The teams 4 coaches, Brad Delves, Richard Whilesmith, Alec Budd and Ross Wallace will be
going with the players and enjoying the day with them. Ross Wallace said, "it's an amazing insight into premiership football for the teams. Wembley stadium is the national arena for football and I will feel very proud seeing our players being a part of this experience. They all train hard and are so committed to the game already, it's an amazing experience for them and I hope they all thoroughly enjoy themselves."
If you happen to be in front of the TV on Sunday 2nd August and have access to BT sport, have a look out for Holme Rovers!