As part of our support for non-league football we’ve launched our Club Renovation Programme for the second year. Applications are open until Sun 31 December. Here we go behind the scenes of Buildbase FA Trophy and Buildbase FA Vase clubs with non-league football champion and talkSPORT and Sky TV presenter Tony Incenzo.
Tuffley Rovers 2 Oxford City Nomads 1
Where: Glevum Park, Lower Tuffley Lane, Tuffley, Gloucester GL2 5DT
Kick-off: 7.45pm, Friday 3 November 2017
Overview: A 240-mile round trip to Gloucester for a rare Friday night fixture in the Hellenic League and my chance to re-complete visits to all the grounds in the Premier Division. The Hellenic League is one of my favourite leagues as it covers a vast area from the west of London right out towards the Welsh border. The Premier Division sits at Step 5 of the national Non-League pyramid.
History: Tuffley Rovers were founded in 1929 by Donald Hall. The club’s original headquarters sound amazing as they were located in a former railway carriage, which also served as Mr Hall’s boot and shoe repair shop on the Stroud Road at Tuffley which is to the south of the city of Gloucester. Over the years, Rovers have played local and county league football but they are now well-established in their second spell in the Hellenic League.
Ground description: Glevum Park has a homely feel and is nicely painted in the club colours of claret and blue. There are three seated stands – one on either side of the pitch and one behind the goal at the Lower Tuffley Lane End, where there is also a covered standing area for spectators.
Programme details: A well-produced 36 pages that sold at £1. The contents included a welcome from the club chairman, club history, manager’s page, match reports, visiting club history and player profiles, fixtures, team line-ups and the league table. All in all, a very good read.
The match: Tuffley Rovers took the lead on 26 minutes when visiting captain Jordi Mulvany dramatically headed into his own net. But parity was restored by Nomads 12 minutes later through a low deflected shot by Will McEachran. Then four minutes into injury time at the very end, Tuffley’s Shayne Bradley dived full length to score the winning goal with a very brave torpedo-like header that prompted joyous celebrations amongst the home supporters.
The people: Tuffley Rovers chairman/secretary Neil Spiller is one of Non-League football’s many fantastic volunteers. He gave me a friendly welcome and was busy throughout the evening providing updates on the club’s Twitter account. Neil told me: “I used to be a Manchester United fan but now I get a lot more enjoyment by being part of my local football club.” His wife was also involved by running the excellent match day tea bar. In addition, I chatted to a very exuberant Tuffley fan who had his face painted in the club’s colours and encouraged the team with great passion. At the start of the second half, this supporter grabbed a megaphone and sang a very loud and melodious song on his own with the lyrics: “I woke up this morning and I’m feeling fine, I’ve got Tuffley Rovers on my mind…”
You can follow Tony on Twitter at @TonyIncenzo
Get your applications in! The Buildbase Club Renovation Programme will provide two product bursaries of £50,000 each in building, electrical products and hire equipment to two clubs by the end of the 2017-18 season. Applying for the Buildbase Club Renovation programme could also help to improve your ground to comply with ground grading and promotion possibilities. To apply visit our website before Sunday 31 December.