Welcome to Bideford Blues and Appledore Junior Football Club a brief history:-
We are a Youth Football Club catering for boys and girls from ages 6 through to 16. Qualified coaches manage all teams and we currently have teams playing in either the North Devon Opticop or Kingsley Leagues. Around 300 youngsters attend weekly training sessions. The emphasis within the Club has been on coaching with a view to raising the ability levels of all members.
The Club began in its current form the late 1970s at the instigation of Barry Davies and the late Dave Barrett. At the time there were only 9 teams in two age groups in the whole of North Devon! The current league has around 100 teams!
Initially all home games were played at Bideford Park with teams changing in the BAAC across the road. In the early 1990s Eric Palmer and Peter Evans began to explore possibilities of purchasing new land for pitches.
In 1999, following the hard work of committee members, such as Andy Lobato, Tony Sawyer and Anne Oliver among others, the facility [Pictured above] opened at Sandymere at a cost of over half a million pounds, much of which was funded by Sport Englands Lottery Fund. This gave the Club its own home for the first time and included a state of the art floodlit astro surface ( at the time of laying it was only the second of its type in the country and was visited by league clubs to check on its suitability before installing one themselves!) Ownership of this facility has been instrumental in the expansion of the Club.
In past the Club has had close links with Plymouth Argyle with one of its soccer schools taking place at Sandymere. From here, higher ability players were fed into the Argyle Academy at Plymouth.
Over the years former club members have gone on to play with League clubs David Downing at York, Nicky Spry at Aldershot (both clubs were in the league at the time), Luke Guttridge at Southend, Gary Sawyer currently a regular at Argyle and Marc Edworthy who has played in the Premiership with Crystal Palace, Coventry and Derby. Marc may be possibly the only player to have participated in Championship playoffs at the old and new Wembley and at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff! Danny Seaborne is currently Exeters centre back and many former Blues members have also gone on to play in the Western League.
May 2009 saw the Club awarded after months of hard work the FA Charter Standard, this prestigious award showed the Clubs commitment not only in raising the standard of the Club as a whole, but to ensure also that the correct codes and standards are maintained in our future years as a youth football Club.
The FAs Charter Standard quality assurance programme was launched in 2001, and has had an undeniably positive effect on the provision of grassroots football, particularly in younger age groups.
This first award was closely followed in July 2009 by the County Charter Standard Development Award of which saw the Club being held as the F.A's "Beacon Club" for Devon 2009. This was a remarkable and most welcome achievement for Bideford Blues and Appledore JFC that demonstrated the Club's dedicated focus to set its standards for the future and to display to its membership, their parents and members of the public as well as the governing body the F.A that we are and remain committed to the highest standards of delivery.
The Club then continued to strive to achieve the highest standard, that of Community Charter Standard. This was to come in September 2009, and saw a visit to our Sandymere Ground from Hannah Buckley, the then County Development Manager for the Devon FA.
Her visit followed an excellent 12 months for Bideford Blues & Appledore JFC which had resulted in the Club being awarded the FA South West Region Charter Standard Development Award for 2009, as well as The Devon County FA award.
2009 ended with the Clubs application to renew the artificial playing surface go before the Football Foundation in London, here they awarded the Club matched funding for a new state of the art 3G Artificial Grass Pitch , this had been a major achievement for the Club and would put Bideford Blues & Appledore JFC back on the footballing map within the local community for years to come.
Along with the coaches taking charge of the weekly training and matches, we have a committee that meets on the first Sunday of each month. These are open meetings and we welcome any new faces that wish to attend.
This feature is currently in development but will be available soon.