Everything we do we always exceed in, says Glebe chairman Rocky McMillan

Monday 01st July 2013
AMBITIOUS Glebe chairman Rocky McMillan insists his club are going into the Kent Invicta League to win promotion.

The club which originates from West Wickham near Bromley were playing Kent Youth League Premier One football last season, but have agreed a two-year groundshare deal (with an option of a third-year) to play at Holmesdale’s Oakley Road ground in Bromley and have been accepted into the Kent Invicta League for the coming season.

There is a case, however, that the club should start at the very foot of the Haart of Kent County League and work their way up the football pyramid after the ill-fated thirteen-game appearance of Crown Alexandra last season, who were elevated from the fourth-tier of the South London Alliance into the Step Six League.

But Mr McMillan insists his club have the infrastructure and resources to avoid failing in the same manner as the Dartford based club.

He said: “It’s very exciting. We’re very pleased to get in the national league system.  It’s something that’s been planned for the last three or four years.  We were planning to go seniors at the end of our second year 18s.

“We finished third in the Kent Youth League Premier Division One last year beating such teams like Cray Valley twice, Folkestone Invicta, Lordswood, Kent County champions Fisher, probably one of the best teams and several others.

“I think we’ve proved a few people, surprised a few people last year.”

McMillan added: “We applied (for the Kent Invicta League) and went up to Wembley and we were interviewed for over two hours and they asked us lots and lots of relevant questions and I’m pleased that we could answer them all.

“I was aware from minute one as soon as we started speaking about step six about Crown Alexandra,” he added.

“I don’t know what happened with Crown Alexandra, it’s none of my business.  All I can say when I formed Glebe 18 years’ ago, we formed with one team.   We ran with 26 teams last year, we’re running 30 teams and two seniors this year.

“Over eighteen years’ we’ve never been in debt.  We’ve got cash flow and we’ve got good benefactors in the club. We’ve got sponsorship for the seniors from kits, from tracksuits, hoodies, anything that you’d probably wish.

“That’s the Glebe way. The Glebe way is to do everything totally professional. We don’t take anything that we can’t keep.

“We’ve never undertaken, we’ve never changed any direction that we feel isn’t the right one. 

“Going to seniors is a must for this football club.

“Over the last ten years’ we’ve been virtually one of the strongest youth clubs – if not the strongest youth club – in London.  We’ve won nine county championship in the last 10 years’ at different ages.

“We continue to provide professional footballers for our under 18s that leave us.  A couple of years’ ago four have got professional contracts this season.  Four of the under 8’s have gone to academies so the coaching within the club is second to none.

“The coaching and facilities within the club is second to none.

“As far as Crown Alexandra were concerned it’s a total different ball game. I think in respect to Crown financially there’s no way Glebe will find ourselves like that. We’ve even put extra money up. 

“We’re in step six but we’ve got step five facilities. We’re very pleased to have a groundshare agreement at Holmesdale with their fantastic bunch of lads’ there.   We’ve got a two-year deal there but with a third-year option.  To be perfectly honest neither of us really want that third-year option because they want their independence and we’d like to find a home.

“I’m continually speaking to The FA and continually speaking to Bromley council and had meetings all over the place. I’m speaking to land owners, famers, anyone I possibly can looking for facilities and I don’t see any direct equation between Crown Alexandra and Glebe Football Club.”

The club have unveiled that their management team will consist of former Greenwich Borough boss Gerry Cox, Darren Anslow, who runs the Cray Wanderers academy on a full-time basis and finished last season at Kent League Beckenham Town, and goalkeeper coach Peter Dale has been at the club for seven years.

Cox and Anslow have been appointed joint-managers, as the club embarks on a new adventure.

“It’s probably more qualified than the England under 21 team when you think Phil Neville is doing his A Licence this summer,” claimed McMillan.

“Both Gerry and Darren come with a wealth of experience of step five, are both UEFA A coaches. 

“I’ve known Gerry for many, many years, probably the last sixteen years.

“I don’t know Darren. I know of his name. I’ve got a couple of lads who are taught by him at Coopers Academy. He comes very highly recommended by several people.

“Peter Dale, the goalkeeper coach, I’ve known for seven years. He’s tremendous, one of the very best around.  He’s just took on the Arsenal Ladies goalkeeper coach job and that just proves the quality that he has.

“He runs his own Academy. He’s always being offered jobs, but first and foremost his loyal to myself and Glebe Football Club.”

Mr McMillan has heaped pressure on the management trio to deliver Kent Invicta League promotion at the first attempt.

Considering a club the size of Ashford United never won the league title during their two-year spell in the league, it is a bold statement to make when you have just entered a league.

But Mr McMillan said: “Glebe Football Club is a winning club.  We’ve done some research and there’s some fine teams in the league. We’re looking forward to playing all fourteen teams.

“Our aspirations are to compete in the level but we’re certainly not here to just make up the numbers.

“We’ve got a F graded ground, which takes us to step five.  I’m not saying we’re going to get promotion, but like every other team our aim is to go in and try to get promotion.

“That might sound strange for a youth club going into the seniors but the resources we’re putting into the football club at senior level, you only have to look at the strength of the management team, look at the resources the football club are putting in to allow the senior team to play at Holmesdale.

“Everything we do we always exceed in. Whether it’s this year or next year, we will be a very, very decent side in this league. We have to learn a little bit being new but like everyone else we have to learn but as I keep saying the resources we put into the team and the people and also the response from players has been absolutely fantastic.”

The chairman continued, “Quite a lot of people know about Glebe Football Club through the juniors.  I think it’s very important to understand Glebe is a massive, massive club. We’ve got 450 kids at the moment. We’ve got 22-23 lads at academies.

“We’ve got fantastic relations with most of the Premiership and Championship sides in London. It’s a very well structured and got an excellent executive committee organised which are young and experienced.

“People want Glebe to go as far as possible. I don’t know where the top end is for Glebe Football Club but certainly at the moment The response I’ve had from players around the circuit and former players that know Glebe Football Club know that we are certainly as we shown at the Kent Youth League AGM last week we won secretary of the year and one of the best organised clubs.

“We have a free physio on Monday for our players to recover from any knocks they’ve had on a Saturday.

“We set it up in a very professional manner.

“We’ve managed to get some excellent sponsorship for the first team and for the club. 

“I find it highly exciting.”

Mr McMillan was impressed with the welcome the club received when they were elected into the league at the AGM at the weekend.

He said: “We’ve been made to feel warmly welcomed by the committee of the Invicta League and also we’ve been made more than welcome by our colleagues within the constitution, the other fourteen teams. They all sent their best wishes.”