I know right, there should be a Berkshire National Team, but sadly the news we exclusively revealed this morning is an April Fool. However, if you were interested in some merchandise of the team that never was, let us know in the comments and we’ll think about plastering the badge on a few things. Oh, and thanks to Neil, Abi and Roger for allowing us to use their names in this piece! Happy April all!
Berkshire will have its own ‘national team’ if plans by a group of local football enthusiasts go ahead.
Berkshire will become the latest UK area to launch a national team after Yorkshire, Surrey, Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey.
The latter three all opted to join the English Football Pyramid but Berkshire look set to follow in the footsteps of county neighbours Surrey by joining CONIFA – the Confederation of Independent Football Associations who recently held a World Cup in the UK.
Asked why he was setting up a national team for the Royal County, chairman Neil Graham – who apparently doesn’t already have enough jobs on in local football – lamented a lack of identity in the county: “We’re the Royal County but we have no focal point. My team and I wanted to create something the whole county could get behind, from Hungerford to Slough, Speenhamland to Chavey Down.
“We’re starting off at Arbour Park but I want to fill the Madejski Stadium for our games.”
Teams and management
Berkshire have already pulled off of a coup with the appointment of former Binfield and Wokingham & Emmbrook manager Roger Herridge as men’s team manager.
Herridge had been eager to get back in the game and said: “This is a great opportunity for me, international travel, sorry management, is something I’ve dreamed of since I was a small boy in QPR pyjamas.”
The women’s national team will be managed by Football in Berkshire’s Abi Ticehurst who said: “How hard can it be?”
Who qualifies to play?
Graham revealed the national team would cast its net wide with all players born in Berkshire considered, including anyone within the historic pre-1974 border.
As the team hopes to be affiliated to CONIFA rather than FIFA, ex internationals like Ady Williams and Slough born current Albanian international Armando Broja could feature.
Graham said: “It’s time Berkshire was known for something else other than the Queen’s second home, Chesney Hawkes and the fake Bayeux Tapestry.”