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Homeless Future? - 16 April

Headington Amateurs has called Barton home for more than 25 years but may never return to the area after the facilities on the new estate are built.

Don Light, chairman of club Headington Amateurs, says he has no idea if they will be able to play in Barton Park's new sports complex due to complications over ground requirements.

The Oxford Mail report the controversial plans were unanimously given the go ahead by Oxford city councillors. The scheme will feature a new turf sports pitch, multi-use games area and all-weather and floodlit pitch aimed at serving people from both existing Barton and Barton Park.

One of the requirements to play at the Hellenic League standard, for which Headington Amateurs currently has special dispensation at its current ground, is a stand with seating for 100 people. A document by the Barton LLP in 2013 said there would have enough space to be able to "upgrade to Hellenic League standards" yet this was not included in the most recent designs for the ground, which will become home to more than 10 senior and junior teams.

Both Headington Amateurs and Barton United, who will say goodbye to the Barton Recreation Ground at the end of April, raised concerns about the plans for the new facilities prior to the council meeting.

Mr Light, of North Way, said it was a possibility Headington Amateurs may never return to Barton once they leave for 18 months while construction work begins. He added: "I do not know if it will be feasible to go back unless we drop down a league, which is something we do not want to do. Nothing has been firmed up as to where we will be playing next year, but the council is helping us to try and find a ground. As the plans have been passed and the pitch won't be fenced off, it's a possibility we might not come back. Of course we will have to see what it will look like because we were hoping to go back. We have been in partnership with Barton United for 15 years and there's a huge social side to it. We also get about 75 per cent of first team players from the youth team from Barton United and a lot are born in the area."

The sports facilities are part of a wider 885-house development on land east of Barton. Housebuilders Hill Ltd will lay the bricks for the first 237 homes in June. Ian Brooke, head of community services, said: "The city council’s priority is to invest in community facilities that encourage people to lead active and healthy lifestyles and also provide young people with positive activities outside the school environment. We are actively working with Headington Amateurs to consider several options, including moving to Horspath in the short term, where we would be able to provide the same level of provision as their current facilities."

Barton councillor Mike Rowley urged developers to make changes to the site, such as fencing off the pitch, which may allow the club to play. He added: "Amateurs may find it makes more sense for them to move permanently to Court Place Farm or Horspath Road, where they won't have to find the funds to meet the League's increasing demands. But that's their decision, and it shouldn't be made impossible for them to return to Barton. I'll therefore continue to press for the necessary, and quite minor, changes to what otherwise are excellent and exciting plans."

 

Final Game Of Season For Amateurs - 1 April

Headington's last game of the current campaign sees them travel to Holyport, this Uhlsport One East fixture is their first visit to Summerleaze for nine years.

The sides met at Barton Road fixture in January of this season, which resulted in a draw. A win on tomorrow would mean a likely fourth place finish for the Amateurs as they look to extend a six match unbeaten run.

With Luke Cuff and Aftab Hafiz nearing full fitness, both making appearances from the bench in last Saturday's win at Finchampstead, only Liam Morbey and Luke Day remain on what was a long injury list. Steve Skyrme continues in goal as Harry Jenkins completes a two match suspension.

 

Win Spurs Amateurs - 18 March

After their fine mid-week performance in the Bluefin Sport Supplementary Cup Headington Amateurs travel to Wantage tomorrow for a Uhlsport One East game.

Tuesday night's cup triumph at Rayners Lane was achieved despite a mounting injury list that saw five regulars missing with the 'bench' occupied by 'walking wounded'. The eleven that started and finished worked their socks off, going through to the quarter finals courtesy of a first half strike from Ben Green.

Carl Bloomfield, who could not get away from work on time for the cup tie returns for the Wantage Town Reserves game, but defender Kyle Harris-Steele is unavailable with manager Stuart Bishop sweating on late fitness tests before being able to name a side.

 

Away For Remainder Of Season - 11 March

Headington will play twice in the next four days as they begin the long 'road trip' that sees them complete the 2015-16 programme.

First up is the short hop to local rivals Old Woodstock Town tomorrow for an Uhlsport Hellenic One East fixture. On Tuesday evening they travel to Rayners Lane for what looks a tough Bluefin Sport Supplementary Cup tie, the "Lane" having completed a league double against Amateurs this season.

Paul Alder and Ben Green return to the squad, whilst manager Stuart Bishop hopes that injury victims Aftab Hafiz along with Liam Morbey may be fit to play a part.

 

Last Ever League Fixture On Amateurs Current Pitch - 26 February

The vagaries of the fixture list will see Headington stage their last home league match of the 2015-16 season on Saturday with the visit of Didcot Town Reserves.

With just one home match postponed due to weather conditions Headington will then finish their league campaign with four away fixtures. Barring a home draw in the Bluefin Sports Supplementary Cup, Saturday will also see the last Uhlsport Hellenic League game on the Barton pitch in it's present location. As part of the new housing development both pitch and clubhouse will be relocated, although on the same site.

Paul Alder and Ben Green are both away this weekend but mid-fielders Tom Payne, Ollie Zaja, Aaron Williams all return.

 

Penultimate Home Game - 13 February

Headington Amateurs await the visit of Chinnor for the A's penultimate home league fixture in Uhlsport One East this afternoon.

A two nil defeat at Rayners Lane last week was particularly disappointing for manager Stuart Bishop after his side, showing several changes, had played 'well enough to have earned at least a point from the game'. Plenty of possession and territory proved little consolation however as a well organised Lane completed a double.

'Bish' will have to reorganise again as Carl Bloomfield joins Tom Payne and Liam Morbey on the injured list with Ben Green also a doubt with dental problems.

 

Re-Focus Time - 29 January

After the disappointment of their 2-0 loss at new Uhlsport One East leaders Penn & Tylers Green last week Headington will have to re-focus when they entertain Reading Town on Saturday.

Although currently bottom Reading are unbeaten in their last four league outings, A's manager Stuart Bishop has to rejig his squad. Indiscipline cost Headington dear in the match at Penn, playing with ten men for nearly seventy minutes on a heavy pitch, against a good side, proving too much to cope with.

Liam Morbey is injured for a second week, whilst mid-fielders Tom Payne and Drew Fowler are both unavailable. Aaron Williams and Ollie Zaja are recalled .

 

3 v 2 - 22 January

Third plays second in Uhlsport One East when Headington visit Penn & Tylers Green tomorrow.

The reverse fixture at Headington in September last year realised a 1 - 1 draw in a match of excellent quality. Since then Headington have lost ground points wise to both Penn and current leaders Bicester Town. Manager Stuart Bishop hopes to pick from a full strength squad knowing that a win is a must if Headington are to stay in contention.

 

Home & Away For Christmas - 18 December

Headington Amateur’s 'Christmas' fixtures see them entertain Chalfont Wasps on Saturday, then make the short trip to Didcot for a Boxing Day clash that kicks off at 1:00 pm.

After last week's loss to Bicester Town, when they conceded a 2-0 half time lead, manager Stuart Bishop knows that his side have to put together a consistent run if they are to stay in touch with the leaders in Uhlsport One East.

Mid-fielder Tom Payne serves a one match suspension for the Chalfont game but will rejoin the squad for the match at Didcot.

 

Eager For Points - 11 December

Headington Amateurs host Bicester Town in Uhlsport One East tomorrow when both will be eager for the points in pursuit of leaders Penn & Tylers Green.

The reverse fixture in early September realised a single goal win for the A's. Since then Bicester have steadily climbed to second in the table whilst Headington sit fifth.

Manager Stuart Bishop has a full squad to select from.

A's Face OWT - 13 November

After an enforced break last week when several games in the East fell victim to the weather, Headington hope to return to action tomorrow with a home match up with near neighbours Old Woodstock Town.

This will be their first outing since their 5-2 defeat at Brackley Town Saints in a first round Bluefin Challenge Cup tie. Although that scoreline looked pretty conclusive manager Stuart Bishop thought that his team were always in the game until the last ten minutes.

For this Saturday's game 'Bish' will select from a strong squad, Ben Green (suspended) and Joe Parker (work), the only absentees.

 

Bluefin Sports InsuranceBluefin Sport Challenge Cup Second Round Game - 30 October

Headington take on Uhlsport Premier opposition again tomorrow when they travel to St. James Park for a Bluefin Sport Challenge Cup 2nd round tie with Brackley Town Saints.

Mid fielder Ben Green begins a three match suspension having been sent off in the County Cup clash with Oxford City Nomads. However forwars Carl Bloomfield and Shaun Jacob, along with defender Aftab Hafiz all return to a near full strength squad.

 

Positive Result Sought - 23 October

Headington Amateurs manager Stuart Bishop will be looking for a result as his side visit basement club Reading Town for the Uhlsport One East fixture tomorrow.

Although the A's retain third place in the table, a run of four games without a win including two home defeats in league games, has seen them lose ground.

Aftab Hafiz, who is on honeymoon, and Carl Bloomfield are unavailable, but striker Joe Parker returns to the squad after holiday.

 

A's Anticipating Lane Game - 9 October

After a break last week Headington host Rayners Lane in Uhlsport One East tomorrow at Barton.

Games between these sides have made for some entertaining clashes in recent seasons, last season the honours being shared with home wins on both occasions. After Saturday's league game Headington will 'travel' to Court Place Farm on Tuesday night for their much anticipated derby encounter with Oxford City Nomads in an Oxfordshire Senior Cup 1st round tie.

Harry Jenkins and Aftab Hafiz both return from holiday, who along with Guy Swain, back from injury, are added to the squad that drew 1-1 with Penn & Tylers Green two weeks ago.

 

Unbeaten Side Play The “A’s” - 25 September

Following defeat in their last game at home to Henley Town, Headington host unbeaten Penn & Tylers Green tomorrow. 

With Harry Jenkins on holiday, former regular goalkeeper Jeff Simmonds, who re-signed this week, steps into the breech. Striker Joe Parker is also on holiday but defenders Paul Alder and Liam Morbey both return after spells out through injury.

 

Third Game At Home - 28 August

A third successive home game sees Headington entertain Wantage Town tomorrow in Uhlsport Hellenic One East. Wantage sit mid-table but have won both their away fixtures. Manager Stuart Bishop returns after holiday with his side having taken seven points from their three games & occupying third spot.

Mid-fielder Tom Payne plus wing back Liam Morbey also return from holiday and are in the squad for the first time this season, replacing Rob Cattell and Paul Alder who are both unavailable.

 

Development Of Barton Affects Amateurs - 25 August

The development west of the Barton estate will include 885 homes, a new primary school and a new ground for the football club, which is home to more than 10 senior and junior teams.

During construction, from April 2016 to September 2017, the club will need to be based somewhere else and so far, discussions with Oxford City Council over an alternative have not resulted in an outcome.

Barton United chairman Mick Beesley said arrangements for the the club to find a new ground are yet to be finalised despite starting their last season at the recreation ground in Barton Village Road. He also said that there could be financial difficulties in the long term if Headington Amateurs decided to not return to the recreation ground once the new facilities are built as part of the development. Mr Beesley added: “It’s a difficult time and difficult decisions will have to be made. There are issues with transport to games as well. There are a couple of options such as Sandy Lane in Blackbird Leys, and Bayard’s Hill School but they may not have the facilities. It’s something that we have to do and we are hoping the new pitch will be worthwhile in the end.”

Barton councillor Mike Rowley said he met with the club a few weeks ago to discuss the situation. He added: “Of the possible alternatives, Barton United agreed that their first preference would be Bayard’s Hill School at the top of Barton, and their second preference Sandy Lane sports ground in Blackbird Leys, which has a pavilion they can use. Our officers have had some trouble getting any reply from the school. If the club have to go to Sandy Lane we will meet the transport and administrative costs. One of our teams, Headington Amateurs, require certain facilities, like a stand, if they want stay at the league they are in, which gives them a hard decision to make. “

“Headington Amateurs have a bigger problem, which is the increasing demands of Oxfordshire FA on the standard of ground they require for the level amateurs play at, including covered seating for 100 people, for example. Unfortunately there is no prospect of either the council or amateurs being able to raise the funds. Even without the Barton development, Amateurs were facing the choice of moving to another ground or going down a level. We’re looking at options for them including Court Place Farm.”

Headington Amateurs chairman Donald Light said that the club had been told the new ground would not be enclosed and therefore not meet the requirement of the Hellenic League. He said: "We are looking for a ground share for next season and there talks on going at the moment."

Tight Affair Anticipated - 14 August

After an excellent away win to Chinnor last week, Headington open their home programme in Uhlsport One East with the visit of Finchampstead to Barton Village Road in the first of three successive home matches.

Games with Finch' have been generally been tight affairs in recent seasons, the A's narrow win and Finchampstead's goal less draw at Bicester Town last week pointing to something similar.

With manager Stuart Bishop on holiday Guy Lowe takes charge of the team assisted by Ronnie Williams. Tom Payne is still unavailable while the calf injury that Paul Alder picked up against Chinnor keeps him sidelined, although Guy Swain is added to the squad after holiday.

 

Traveling South Instead Of East - 7 August

Headington open the new season in Uhlsport Hellenic League One East away to Chinnor, an even shorter trip than usual as Chinnor will be playing at Abingdon Town's ground for the first half of the '15-16 season.

The Amateurs new manager Stuart Bishop is relishing the prospect of the new challenge ahead of him this season. "We've had a very productive pre season and we've bought in some great new players to the club adding to what was already a very solid squad, the lads are raring to go and face whatever One East can throw at them. I'd like to thank all the back room staff who have helped me make the transition easier".

 

"A's" Presentation Night - 5 July

tom payne hellenic footballHeadington staged their presentation evening at their sponsors 'The Chequers' on Saturday evening (July 4th) with a BBQ & race night.

Mid-fielder Tom Payne (pictured) 'cleaned up' on the night winning the manager's Player of the Year trophy & the Players Player of the Year trophy. To complete the set he also received the Uhlsport Hellenic Division One East player of the year award.

Newly appointed manager Stuart Bishop was in attendance & announced that Guy Lowe, who worked with him at Horspath FC, would be his assistant. Headington's pre-season training begins on Tuesday 7th July with their first friendly at Oxford City Nomads this Friday 10th July.

 
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