It’s been 15 months since Ovenden Phoenix Fc was established after a group of 40 teenagers and young men from Ovenden, Mixenden and Illingworth; found themselves playing regular informal football matches and often finding themselves being frowned upon or getting into scrapes of trouble away from the pitch… Who would have thought that against all the odds, a group of young men from 3 different communities would come so far in such a short space of time?
It started off as just a bit of fun but with the help of Karen Scanlon things started to take off for the lads and at a rapid rate. It’s been a whirlwind 15 months and the team has really progressed as a whole, inspiring partnership working in North Halifax whilst capturing the hearts and minds of their communities along the way.
The team has received incredible support from services such as the West Yorkshire Fire Service and West Yorkshire Police and even had the opportunity to play a pre-season game against the Fire Service to mark the start of their journey into open age football and also be presented with their official kit. This fixture will now be an annual event and this year it will take place in July 2015 at Trinity Academy so be sure to go along and show your support; not only for the lads of Ovenden Phoenix but also for the Fire Service.
Ovenden Phoenix have just finished their first full season and having initially underestimated the standard of open age football it proved to be a real learning curb which saw the team pick up just 11 points with 3 wins and 2 draws, however the lads battled on to the very end showing good sportsmanship and determination for the game which has left them raring to go and wanting to improve ready for the 2015/2016 season.
Team Captain Dan Marham said:
“It’s been brilliant in my opinion and a real eye opener for some of the lads, of course we would have liked to have picked up more points over the course of the season but unfortunately it didn’t work out that way. It’s been a privilege to play alongside a great set of lads who I only met just over a year ago and the fact I was made captain of the team after losing some of our key players was an honor in itself considering the amount of candidates that we have within the team.
Hopefully we can take what we’ve learnt so far and improve on it for next season to repay our manager Ade and chairlady Karen for the effort that they put in to helping us; we’ve got some talented players in the squad and with a bit of hard work, who knows what we can achieve next year!”
Look out for the team over the course of the next few months as they go out and about raising vital funds to go towards the cost of re-entering the league next season. Starting with a Hand Car Wash this weekend at Illingworth Fire Station where the lads will be there armed with bucket and sponge from 11am… Go along and show your support by having your car washed, it’s for a good cause.
Everyone at Ovenden Phoenix would like to express a big thank you to all who are associated with the Halifax Sunday League; Teams, Match Officials, Sponsors and those who work in the background to keep it going, Neil Ross of OSCA foundation for taking the time to train the team weekly and a special thank you to Dom Furby of the West Yorkshire Fire Service for his continued support and help throughout.