To say Long Crendon FC have been successful over the recent years would be an understatement.
Cups have been won, three promotions and titles have followed and now they are playing at a much higher standard in Division Two of the East Hellenic League.
Since taking over the managerial reigns four years ago, Gerald Reilly has not only steered them into higher divisions, but he has also created a second team playing in Division One of the Oxford Senior League.
We asked Gerald what plans the club have going forward, and can a small village team really push into higher levels of football like their rivals from Thame and both Oxford clubs.
What are Long Crendon FC Plans for the future?
We have many plans but the first thing we need to do is to work on having the required facilities to take the next step.
The next Hellenic League Division One East promotion will mean we need to have permanent floodlights, a turn style entrance and facilities to accommodate supporters of both the home and away teams.
This is simply not possible in our current location due to the ground belonging to the parish council.
How will you overcome this obstacle?
That’s a tough question and not one that fills me with any satisfaction.
We will need to ground share with a local football club such as the Thame United at the ASM Stadium, or other areas around our region which would mean taking the first team out of the village.
Is there not another way to try and keep the first team playing in Crendon?
The problem is that we need to have land to build the pitch. In the short term this is rather wishful thinking, unless there are any generous farmers that see it fit to come forward and help us.
We also know we have to fund the cost of making the project happen. Without the land it’s not only difficult, but it’s a long way off in the future.
How will you raise the funds?
The amount of sports funding and grants we have available, and we have ideas regarding sponsorship from local companies but we can only do so much with the current squad size of 60 players.
The need for both the boy and girls Crendon Corinthians FC teams to affiliate to the men’s team is an obvious opportunity for future growth to all associated.
This also stops leakage of Long Crendon girls and boys to other teams because there is no progression plan to take them into the adult teams at the moment.
Lastly, will the second team still play in Long Crendon?
Yes if we do manage to gain promotion this season we still want people to wander down the recreation ground on a Saturday afternoon and watch football played by players who were born and raised in the village.
In the future we would like to have a facility that caters for all ages and abilities from both the girls and boys teams in Long Crendon.
We currently provide hot food after the games each week at the Long Crendon Social Club, as well as a bar that is available to all players and supporters.
At the time of this article Long Crendon FC first team currently sit top of the East Hellenic League Division Two after beating Virginia Waters FC 4-0 at the Long Crendon recreation ground. The second team returned to the Social Club victorious, climbing out of the relegation zone after a 2-0 away win to Summertown Stars in Oxford.