Welling United F.C.

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Welling United
WellingUnitedBadge.png
Full nameWelling United Football Club
Nickname(s)The Wings
Founded1963;58 years ago (1963)
Ground Park View Road, Welling
Capacity4,000 (1,000 seated)
Owner Mark Goldberg
Chairman Mark Goldberg
Manager Steve Lovell
League National League South
2020–21 National League South (season curtailed)
Website Club website

Welling United Football Club is a semi-professional association football club, based in Welling in the London Borough of Bexley, England. The club's first team play in the National League South, the sixth tier of English football.

Contents

History

Welling United Football Club was founded in 1963 by former professional footballer Syd Hobbins. [1] It began as a youth team, playing in the Eltham & District Sunday League on a park pitch from 1963–64 to 1970–71. From 1971–72 to 1974–75, they played in the Metropolitan-London League Intermediate/Reserves Division. In 1975–76, they played in the London Spartan League Reserve Division One. They gained senior status in the London Spartan League in 1976, at Butterfly Lane, Eltham. Welling finished sixth in Division 2 in 1976–77 and was promoted to the Premier Division. In 1977, Welling moved to the Park View Road ground, which had previously belonged to the then defunct Bexley United. [1] They joined the Athenian League in 1978. In 1981, they progressed to the Southern Football League Southern Division.

After just one season at this level the club found itself in the Southern League Premier Division after the league was re-organised. In 1985–86, they won the league title by 23 points and were promoted to the Football Conference. [1]

Although they struggled in the Conference, only twice finishing above 11th place in 14 seasons, they did enjoy cup success during this period, reaching the first round proper of the FA Cup in six successive seasons, on one occasion knocking out Kent's only Football League side, Gillingham. They also made one third round appearance, losing 1–0 at Park View Road to Blackburn Rovers.

The club was relegated in 1999–2000 and returned to the Southern League.

In the 2003–04 season, under the management of former England World Cup player Paul Parker, the Wings finished in the top half of the Southern League Premier Division and was therefore able to claim a place in the newly formed Conference South. In that season, Parker left the club by mutual consent. [1]

Welling playing Millwall in a pre-season friendly at Park View Road. WellingMillwallFriendly.JPG
Welling playing Millwall in a pre-season friendly at Park View Road.

Former Coventry City and Republic of Ireland player Liam Daish took charge of the team on a caretaker basis before the permanent position was handed to former Norwich City and Gillingham defender Adrian Pennock, [1] who narrowly missed out on taking the club into the promotion play-offs. Pennock left the club at the end of the 2006–07 season. His last game managing the Wings finished in a 1–1 draw at home to Hayes. Pennock joined Stoke City in a coaching position under his former Gillingham manager, Tony Pulis.

On 16 May 2007, Welling United appointed Neil Smith as the new first team manager. However, after only seven months in charge Smith parted company with the club on 7 January 2008. It was mutually agreed between the club and Smith that his reign as Wings boss would end.

Andy Ford was appointed the new manager of the Wings on 31 January 2008. Despite losing 6–2 to Cambridge City in his first game in charge, Ford guided the Wings to safety and they eventually finished 16th. [1] Welling finished 7th in the Conference South in 2008/09 under the guidance of Ford. After a poor start to the 2009–10 season Ford resigned, stating he didn't think he could achieve what he wanted on the current budget. Jamie Day was announced as the new player/manager in November 2009.

On 12 August 2010, the club was served with a winding-up petition by HMRC, due for a hearing later that month. The Wings were given 14 weeks to pay the outstanding debt to the HMRC, and thanks almost entirely to the supporters were able to raise £60,000 to clear all monies owed. During this period, in a Football Conference Hearing on 16 September 2010, Welling United admitted to a misconduct charge in connection with the outstanding HMRC debt. Resultantly an immediate deduction of 5 points was enforced on the club together with a suspended £5,000 fine. [2]

Despite the Wings having a transfer embargo enforced upon them and also being deducted 5 points by the Football Conference, all within four weeks of the start of 2010–11 season, Jamie Day's side were competitively competing for the Conference South title. However, even though Welling United were in the top 5 for almost half of the season, a string of poor results in the final month of the campaign saw the Wings miss out on a play-off place by one point, with a final position of 6th.

Former player manager Jamie Day with the Conference South trophy after winning the title in 2013 Jamie Day.jpg
Former player manager Jamie Day with the Conference South trophy after winning the title in 2013

The 2011–12 season ended with Welling in 3rd place and after defeating Sutton United 2–1 on aggregate in the play-off semi-finals they narrowly missed promotion in the final, going down 0–1 to Dartford at Princes Park.

Welling made a return to the top level of non-league football the following season after clinching the Conference South title, 13 years after they last played at the fifth tier of English football. Between 3 November and 5 February, Welling also broke the league's record for consecutive wins with 12 in a row.

In December 2014 Jamie Day left Welling by mutual consent. He was replaced by Jake Gallagher and Jamie Turner as caretakers, but on 21 December it was announced that Jody Brown of Grays Athletic would become manager. On 3 March 2015, Jody Brown was relieved of his duties after just one point in his first nine games. Right back Loui Fazakerley was put in charge for "the foreseeable future".

Welling's first televised home match was played on 8 March 2015 in front of the BT Sport cameras losing 1–0 to Altrincham.

Following an impressive run of results, Fazakerley steered The Wings out of the relegation zone and to Conference Premier safety on goal difference above Alfreton Town. Fazakerley was appointed on a full-time basis the same week. [3]

On 25 January 2016 Loui Fazakerley was sacked after 10 months in charge, with the club in the National League relegation zone and was replaced with former first team coach under Jamie Day, Dean Frost and Barry Ashby as assistant manager. Jamie Turner also came back as goalkeeping coach. Frost's first match in charge was away against FC Halifax Town and finished 1–1, Welling's first goal and point at The Shay. Frost left the post with 6 matches remaining in the 2015–16 season with the club bottom of the league.

Mark Goldberg was appointed manager for the coming season along with Damian Mathew as his assistant. After a poor start to the season Golberg gave more control to Mathew but that proved short lived as Mathew left the club in the wake of a capitulation from 2–0 at home to Hemel Hempstead Town, losing the match 3–2. Former manager Jamie Day returned to the club as assistant to Goldberg but results still did not improve. Day was appointed manager, which culminated in a run that saw Day awarded National League South Manager of the Month, December 2016, and talisman Adam Coombes named player for the month. Day was being assisted by Adrian Pennock, acting as football consultant. In January 2017, more upheaval was to follow when Pennock left for Gillingham, as manager, taking Day with him as assistant. Coach, Harry Wheeler and Tristan Lewis were drafted in to cover in the short term. With the 2016/17 season nearing close, former Charlton Athletic assistant manager Alex Dyer was appointed manager in March 2017. Assisted by Tristan Lewis, Dyer guided Welling for the remainder of the season, and finished the 2016–17 campaign with a 2–0 loss to Dover Athletic in the Kent Senior Cup final. In May 2017, Jamie Coyle became Welling United manager, with Tristan Lewis appointed to Director of Football. [4] In February 2018 it was announced that Coyle had signed a contract extension to manage the Wings for the 2018–19 season. With the season ended three days earlier, and the club missing out on a play-off berth, it was announced on 1 May 2018 that Coyle had stepped down from his role as first-team manager. [5] On 3 May 2018, Director of Football, Tristan Lewis also left for pastures new, with the club singling out his work; in establishing their academy, and co-managing the team alongside Mark Goldberg, Harry Wheeler, Alex Dyer and Jamie Coyle, for praise. [6]

Steve King was next to be appointed manager, after he joined from recently relegated Whitehawk at the end of May. A successful season was to follow with the Wings finishing in 3rd place and top of the home form table; meaning that the club had qualified for the playoffs for only the second time in its history. In the semi-final at Park View Road, Welling defeated Chelmsford City 3-2 courtesy of a 96th minute Brendan Kiernan penalty, thus setting up a draw in the final away at Woking. The hosts won the game 1-0 after Armani Little scored a free-kick just before half-time. This proved to be King's final game in charge as manager as he was replaced in June 2019 by Goldberg, who returned for his second spell in the dugout. Bradley Quinton became the club’s new manager in January 2020.

Ground

Welling United play their home matches at Park View Road, Welling. This ground has been their home since 1977 when they took over the ground which had been vacated by the defunct Bexley United. Prior to that date the club had played at a community sports ground in Butterfly Lane, Eltham. Having been unoccupied for some time, the new ground was almost derelict.

Erith & Belvedere have been ground sharing since the 1999 season. Improvements were made to the Park View Road ground in 2004, which included a new covered stand.

As a result of severe storms and gale-force winds in December 2006, the floodlights at Park View Road were damaged. Due to safety reasons all the floodlight pylons on the Welling side of the ground were removed. The floodlights were put in place during the month of June 2007 and are fully functional, one pylon positioned in each corner.

During the 2013–14 season, Park View Road had to be changed to keep Welling United in the Conference Premier in the 2014–15 season. These all happened between the months of February and March.

In the close season of 2015–16 both Welling United bars, the boardroom and parking area at Park View Road underwent renovations. In particular the hospitality areas at the ground were fully refitted to cater for match-days, and non-football related events and private bookings.

Sponsorship

The club has a number of sponsors, [7] and the first team wear shirts sponsored by local construction firm SECO Construction, [8] and local IT company D&M Systems. [9] Both firms are in their third year of shirt sponsorship with the club.

Players

First-team squad

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No.Pos.NationPlayer
GK Flag of Grenada.svg  GRN Reice Charles-Cook
DF Flag of England.svg  ENG Kristian Campbell
DF Flag of England.svg  ENG Scott Doe
DF Flag of England.svg  ENG Chiori Johnson
No.Pos.NationPlayer
MF Flag of Nigeria.svg  NGA Olumide Durojaiye
MF Flag of England.svg  ENG Darren Oldaker
MF Flag of England.svg  ENG Dominic Vose
FW Flag of England.svg  ENG Dipo Akinyemi

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No.Pos.NationPlayer

Club officials

PositionStaff
ChairmanMark Goldberg
General ManagerAlan Heath
GroundsmanJordans
Press TeamDave Budden, Mark Doig

Source: Official Matchday Programme Welling United Football Club v AFC Weston-super-Mare, 21 April 2018

Backroom staff

RoleName
Manager Steve Lovell
First Team Coach
Head of Youth DevelopmentBrett Smith and Garry Fiore
Assistant ManagerTristan Lewis
Fitness CoachCraig Lewis
Chief Scout
Scout
Head PhysioTyler Overton

Honours

League

Cup

Seasons

YearLeagueLevelPldWDLGFGAGDPtsPositionLeading league scorerGoals FA Cup FA Trophy Average attendance
2003–04 Southern Football League 642168185658−2569th of 22
Transferred
No DataNo Data QR4 R2 597
2004–05 Conference South 642157206468−45216th of 22Paul Booth19 QR2 R2 567
2005–06 Conference South 642161795844+14659th of 22 Danny Kedwell 19 R1 R3 606
2006–07 Conference South 642216156551+14698th of 22 Danny Kedwell 19 QR4 R4 566
2007–08 Conference South 642137224164−234616th of 22Omari Coleman8 QR3 QR3 526
2008–09 Conference South 6421911126144+17687th of 22 Charlie Sheringham 19 QR2 R2 640
2009–10 Conference South 642189156651+15639th of 22 Lee Clarke 16 QR3 R1 538
2010–11 Conference South 642248108147+3475†6th of 22 Andy Pugh 17 QR2 R1 651
2011–12 Conference South 64224997947+32813rd of 22
Lost in play-off final
Andy Pugh 15 QR2 R1 676
2012–13 Conference South 64226889044+46861st of 22
Promoted
Ross Lafayette 19 QR4 R3 615
2013–14 Conference Premier 5461612185961−26016th of 24 Ross Lafayette 16 R2 R1 811 [13]
2014–15 Conference Premier 5461112235273−214520th of 24 Harry Beautyman 11 QR4 R1 727 [13]
2015–16 Conference Premier 546811273573−383524th of 24
Relegated
Sahr Kabba 6 R1 R1 682 [13]
2016–17 National League South 642127236469−54316th of 22
Adam Coombes 20 QR4 R3 539
2017–18 National League South 6421710156859+96110th of 22
Bradley Goldberg 10 QR2 QR3 533
2018–19 National League South 642237127047+23763rd of 22
Lost in play-off final
Brendan Kiernan 14 QR4 QR3 740
2019–20 National League South 634126163846-842 (1.24 PPG)12th of 22
Season abandoned
Anthony Cook 8 QR4 R1 624
2020–21 National League South 6142661820-21221st of 21
Season declared null and void
Dipo Akinyemi 6 QR2 R2 611*

 – deducted 5 points for financial irregularities
* – average of games where crowds were permitted

Notable former players

Recent managers

DatesNameNotes
1995–2000 Flag of England.svg Kevin Hales
2000–2002 Flag of England.svg Tony Reynolds
2002–2003 Flag of England.svg Bill Williams
2003–2004 Flag of England.svg Paul Parker
2004–2005 Flag of Ireland.svg Liam Daish
2005–2007 Flag of England.svg Adrian Pennock
2007–2008 Flag of England.svg Neil Smith
2008 Flag of England.svg Chris Moore
Flag of England.svg Richard Carpenter
Joint caretaker managers
2008–2009 Flag of England.svg Andy Ford
2009 Flag of England.svg Lee ProtheroeCaretaker manager
2009–2014 Flag of England.svg Jamie Day Player-manager
2014 Flag of England.svg Jamie Turner
Flag of England.svg Jake Gallagher
Joint caretaker managers
2014–2015 Flag of England.svg Jody Brown
2015–2016 Flag of England.svg Loui FazakerleyPlayer-manager. Caretaker manager until 22 April 2015
2016 Flag of England.svg Dean Frost
2016 Flag of England.svg Mark Goldberg
2016–2017 Flag of England.svg Jamie Day
2017 Flag of England.svg Harry Wheeler
Flag of England.svg Tristan Lewis
Joint caretaker managers
2017 Flag of England.svg Alex Dyer Caretaker manager
2017–2018 Flag of England.svg Jamie CoylePlayer-manager
2018–2019 Flag of England.svg Steve King
2019–2020 Flag of England.svg Mark Goldberg
2020–2021 Flag of England.svg Bradley Quinton
2021– Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Steve Lovell

Club records

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References

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