Filling the black hole
Over the years, football in East Durham has been described as a black hole or even a Bermuda Triangle, with many clubs disappearing, unable to find a place in their post-industrial home towns. In the 1990s the Northern League was home to Peterlee Newtown, Horden Colliery Welfare, Eppleton Colliery Welfare and Shotton Comrades. Over the years these clubs dwindled in number, financial struggles leading to clubs folding, leaving grand old grounds vacant throughout East Durham.
Horden CW have happily reformed and are thriving in the Wearside League with aspirations to return to the Northern League. Shotton Colliery are the latest club to enter the Wearside League, playing their games at The Recreational Ground in the village. The committee have been putting in many hours of man time to bring the ground up to standard and have the stated ambition of no entry fees for their first season in Wearside League Division Two.
Shotton have appointed joint managers in Adam Cockroft and Martin Dunn. Dunn is currently working toward his UEFA ‘B’ coaching accreditation and his links to the local community will help foster the community spirit the club is aiming for. Long term the club is aiming for the Northern League, but with this being their first season, in the most trying circumstances, financial security and stability will be the first priority. Although there is no official affiliation to the Shotton Comrades youth set up, the new club have a verbal agreement to foster a link between the junior football set up and senior football.
Whilst Coronavirus has been a blight on football across the region, it has allowed Shotton Colliery a little more time to get measures in place, and they announced their pre-season schedule this week. Home friendlies are limited to 50 people due to the social distancing requirements but they still hope for a good turn out to support the club. The fixtures can be found here on the Footy in Durham friendly list.