Part two of an interview conducted with Nathan Salah, the man behind the newly formed Priestwood Vale Junior Football Club who will join the Bracknell football scene for the 2017/18 season.
What have been the positives so far? For all the hard work there must be some great rewards?
The first major positive came really early on into the process. My first goal was to find a permanent base for us and somewhere to call home. This came before everything as without a home we have no club, it even came before choosing a club name. When looking for a home I didn’t want to use a council pitch as they are notoriously expensive and games get called off at the drop of a hat at times.
This led me to go down the route of contacting local schools in the area to see if we could use their playing fields. I contacted a few schools and had no joy until I emailed Meadow Vale School in Priestwood. I think there was about 10 minutes between me sending the email and the headteacher inviting me in for a meeting to discuss things further.
Upon meeting we saw that we shared a lot of the same visions and ideas and I could see they really wanted a football team based in that area that their pupils could join in the future. Fast forward a few months the agreements have been signed and we are committed to training their pupils after school and bringing at least one new team made up exclusively of their pupils into competitive football each season.
Our name is a direct reflection of the area we are based and the school hence Priestwood Vale.
‘What if a newly formed, tiny club from Bracknell could get the help and interest from a giant professional club?’
One other thing I wanted to do was to take inspiration from a professional club and use their philosophy as a guide. I had a very good idea about which club this would be already so I did some more research on them and saw they were a perfect fit.
I am someone who has a lot of crazy ideas and something popped into my head. What if a newly formed, tiny club from Bracknell could get the help and interest from a giant professional club? What if they would listen and see our vision and hopes for the future? I posted out four letters to this club, to the CEO, President and two directors explaining who we are and how we want to learn from who I consider to be the best.
I never for one second thought anything would come of this and why should it? These people are far to busy for us.
Much to my amazement a week after I sent the letters I got a direct reply via email from the clubs officials saying not only that they have read and appreciated my letter but they also wanted to pursue this further. To cut a long story short we have been in constant contact since December and I fly out to meet with the clubs officials in February to discuss a potential official link between us and them.
This is obviously hugely exciting and I don’t think anything like this has ever been done before in terms of a youth club that are in their infancy and a football superpower, it will be amazing for us as a new club to have one of the biggest teams in world football backing us up.
I am sworn to secrecy until I travel but all will be revealed in due course and hopefully the wider media will be interested too.
We spoke to Nathan in a lengthy interview which we cut in to two parts. You can read part one here and you can see all our content around New Club Week here. If you’d like to share your experiences please email [email protected].