Southam United escape the drop despite finishing bottom

After a season to forget on and off the pitch for Southam United, the club has escaped relegation to Midland League Division Two.
After a season to forget on and off the pitch for Southam United, the club has escaped relegation to Midland League Division Two.

Southam United were given an unexpected reprieve from relegation at the Midland Football League annual general meeting on Wednesday evening, writes David Hucker.

The promotion of champions Coventry United to the Premier Division and resignation of Pilkington XXX created two vacancies which have been filled by Division Two runners-up Chelmsley Town, who will ground share at nearby Coleshill Town, and Uttoxeter Town, who are transferring from the Staffordshire County League.

Division Two champions Alvis Sporting Club, who returned to their Coventry home last season after ground sharing at Banbury Road in 2014/15, are dropping down to Division Three rather than stepping up to Division One as expected.

So, with the division remaining at 20 teams, Saints have escaped relegation despite finishing bottom of the table.

Chairman Charles Hill, who can now look forward to another season at step 6 of the non-league pyramid, starting on August 13, is looking to fill a number of support roles to complement the new first team management headed by Ian Ray.

As well as the mini soccer schoool, the club will again be running teams across all age groups from eight years old upwards and Hill wants to see a greater link between them to create a single identity and direction.

“We have not capitalised in recent seasons on the talent we nurtured through our academy and youth teams, looking outside the area for players and letting local ones drift away to other clubs or out of football altogether,” said Hill.

“We need to rebuild that togetherness and sense of belonging as Southam United, developing a path that will take players from their first steps with the club through to the first team.”

Hill, who has announced the appointment of Johnny Ojeil as football secretary, is also is seeking to appoint a groundsman, first team kit manager, press officer and webmaster.

All positions are voluntary, although out-of-pocket expenses will be covered.

Anyone interested should contact him on 07449 761688.

n Racing Club Warwick will bear the Saving Lives charity logo on the their kit for the 2016/17 campaign.

Saving Lives raise awareness about testing for HIV and other blood-borne viruses or sexually transmitted infections, including the hepatitis B and C viruses.