The rebirth of Sidley United

Action from Sidley United's game against Rye United last Easter. Picture by Simon Newstead
Action from Sidley United's game against Rye United last Easter. Picture by Simon Newstead

Sidley United Football Club has vowed to resume playing next season.

The Blues decided at their annual general meeting on Monday night to return to action for the 2014/15 campaign under the joint management of Adam Day and Owen Ball.

It is highly likely that Sidley will compete in the ADA East Sussex Football League, although a home ground has yet to be finalised.

Sidley chairman Dickie Day said: “The meeting was good really. Everyone that attended was willing to help out in some way or other and the feedback was very positive. At least we’ve decided that we’re going to try and resurrect the club, and see what happens.”

Sidley’s future was plunged into doubt from the moment parent company Sidley Sports & Social Club ceased trading due to severe financial difficulties at the end of April 2013, leaving the club without a home ground.

After efforts to negotiate a temporary groundshare with another club proved unsuccessful and with no prospect of a swift return to Gullivers, the club decided last summer to withdraw from the Sussex County Football League and take ‘a year’s break’.

Monday’s meeting proved a positive step towards securing the future of a club formed back in 1906 and which was a founder member of Sussex Division Two in 1952.

“We’ve not completely given up (of returning to Gullivers), but I can’t see it happening next season,” continued Dickie Day.

“I’ve tried to find out what’s going on and the people that are handling it didn’t know, but they’ve had offers and all the offers are in now. We’re looking for a pitch and I’ve approached a couple of people.”

Adam Day - Dickie’s son - and brother-in-law Ball were part of the Sidley side which did the Sussex Division One and John O’Hara League Challenge Cup double in 2000/01 under Dickie Day. It will be the first managerial venture for the 36-year-olds, although Day will double up as a player.

He said: “Owen and I feel quite passionately about Sidley, and after seeing how lots of other people felt at the meeting, it just seemed like the natural thing to do. It will be a challenge and a half, but we’ve got a number of players that have shown interest and that was just while we were putting the idea out there.”

Ray Eldridge will continue as vice-chairman and John Eddell has been made president after 20 years’ service to the club. A secretary and treasurer are yet to be announced.