Promoted TD Shipley aiming for return to County League

TD Shipley manager Kevin Bartlett, left, with chairman Mark Curtis SUS-160725-132606002
TD Shipley manager Kevin Bartlett, left, with chairman Mark Curtis SUS-160725-132606002

TD Shipley Football Club is back in business.

Three years after withdrawing from the Sussex County League because of financial problems, they have regrouped and are back in rude health.

They are preparing to take the West Sussex League Premier Division by storm having won three back-to-back promotions.

TD have gone back to basics with a new chairman, Mark Curtis, who has replaced Dave Cocks, and a new tightly-knit group of players.

Kevin Bartlett has been at the club for 15 years as a junior manager, reserve team manager and now first team boss.

He said: “We are on a good run, having finished runners-up in the Championship last season and reaching the Junior Cup final at Lancing.

He revealed: “We are hoping to keep this going and get promotion again.

“In September we will be applying for a ground grading to play in the Southern Combination League.

“We’ve got a really good bunch of players who went to school together in Crawley (at Ifield Community College, Thomas Bennett and Hazelwick).”

TD Shipley began in Crawley as TD Sports but renamed themselves when they moved to their current ground in Shipley’s Dragons Lane.

They still train Crawley at Tilgate’s Gainsborough Road on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7-8.30pm.

Their league campaign starts on September 3.

Their busy schedule of pre-season games began with a 3-0 defeat away to Haywards Heath on July 16.

They then played Horsham YMCA at home on Saturday, losing 4-1. Remaining pre-season games: Sat July 30 - Upper Beeding (home), Sat Aug 6 - Broadbridge Heath Res (h), Sat Aug 13 Crawley Down U21s, Sat Aug 16 Cowfold FC (h), Sat Aug 20 - AFC Haywards (h).

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