Upwell Town FC are folding at the end of the season and are going to become part of Wisbech Town Acorns’ adult set-up.
Karl Schultz, Upwell Town FC vice-chairman and first team manager, and Rob Gifford, Wisbech Town Acorns FC chairman and first team manager, have announced a merger of the two clubs which will see Acorns looking to field three senior sides in the Cambs League next season.
Following a testing year on and off the field, it became clear that some new life needed injecting into Upwell. With changes in circumstances to former key playing personnel at the club and the desire for most of the current Upwell committee to step down, current managers Schultz and reserve team boss Tiago Almeida approached Acorns with an offer which looks to be beneficial for all involved.
Schultz said: “Bringing our senior players across to play under the Acorns name makes so much sense I’m surprised we haven’t thought of it before. Whilst being called Upwell, we haven’t actually played out of there for seven years now. The players and coaches are predominantly Wisbech-based.
“Acorns have a fantastic set-up. Those who I’m close to know I’m a huge fan of developing players who want to learn. I’m keen to work with the other coaches already established at Acorns, with the goal of developing young players through the age groups to feature for the first team in years to come.”
Schultz, who guided Upwell to three consecutive promotions, will also bring in his right-hand man, Almeida, to continue to build on the reserve team’s performances, which have turned a corner since Almeida took charge.
“From our point of view we are delighted to have Karl, Tiago and hopefully most of the players joining us,” said Rob.
“We ran an experimental side of young adults in the Peterborough men’s League for the 2016-17 season to meet FA targets of halting the drop off of young players and to develop and nurture those with ability, which has seen our striker Adan Jay Lewis sign for Wisbech Town Reserves and our young goalie Josh Loosemore play for the first team.
“We have also developed U18 Keiran Lambourne who, as well as stepping up comfortably into men’s football, is also now part of the Peterborough United amputee set-up and part of future plans with the national amputee side.
“From that perspective we have had a great season.
“Now the challenge is to offer some of those young men football at a higher level. It will also see us move our existing side to the Cambs League so that the players will have free movement between teams.
“Between us, we are also hoping that some of the players coming across will consider taking coaching courses.
“All I ever wanted was to see the kids be able to come to us at six and play for as long as they wanted. Now we have the mechanism by which that can happen.”
The first open session will be on June 10, venue to be confirmed, with the idea of a mass signing-on day on June 17 at Gorefield.