AFC Henley started out in 1974 as Henley Boys & Girls Football Club. We are based at our own sports ground at Jubilee Park, opposite Tesco, which we lease from Henley Town Council. We are an independent FA-affiliated club with our own management structure and financial controls. Surpluses are ploughed back into benefits for our 300 members. Playing standards are improving. Several members attend football academies at Oxford, Reading, Wycombe and Southampton. Following the name change, all teams from U15 upwards now play as AFC Henley. All teams below U15 play as AFC Henley Boys (or Girls as appropriate).
In 2003 our Chairman, John Hooper, received the Pinsent-Redgrave award for services to sport in the town. In 2004 he was honoured in Leichlingen, Henley’s twin town in Germany, for his contribution to sport in their community. In 2010 he was awarded the Town Medal in Henley for his long-term commitment to AFC Henley.
With Henley YMCA we are now known as The Henley Football Partnership, an FA Charter Community Club, the highest quality award available from the FA. We are one of just six clubs in the whole of Oxfordshire to have been honoured in this way. We won Oxfordshire FA's Community Club of the year in 2009 and again this year 2012. Charter status guarantees us continuous support from the Oxfordshire Football Association, priority access to funding for major projects, discounted FA coaching courses and awards of cash or equipment for one-off initiatives.
The Club abides by FA guidelines: Football Association Child Protection and Best Practice Guidelines and we have been actively implementing the FA Respect Campaign, driven locally by Dieter Hinke, our Welfare Officer. AFCH is staffed by volunteers, many having attended FA coaching courses to qualify at FA Levels 1, 2 and 3. Our aim is at least one FA-qualified coach per age group. All volunteers have CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) clearance and must attend First Aid courses and FA Child Protection seminars. The Club and its volunteers are covered by the FA's public liability insurance policy.
We are group members of the Henley-Leichlingen and Henley & Falaise Twinning Associations. We established links with Leichlingen in Germany more than 20 years ago. We also have a long-standing relationship with Nijmegen in Holland. Annual exchanges take place with teams from both Leichlingen and Nijmegen.
We run after-school clubs, where requested. We also allow local schools, colleges and charities to use our ground for sporting events. We run an annual schools’ tournament as our contribution to the Henley Youth Festival and a 6-a-side tournament at Henley’s annual Round Table May Fair.
We are grateful for financial assistance from the OFA, Henley Educational Charity, Henley Town Council and other local businesses. This has enabled us to buy equipment for each squad. Many of our coaches and senior teams have been provided with tracksuits. Individual squads are sponsored by the Henley Standard, Stuart Turner, Rotary of Henley Bridge and Invesco Perpetual. We are grateful to Buffery & Co for providing accountancy services free of charge.
Off the field, the club is working hard to improve the facilities for players, parents, supporters and community groups, including those with learning difficulties and the disabled. The club has a 25 year lease with Henley Town Council for its clubhouse and the grass pitches adjacent to Tesco. Other youth football teams, local schools and groups are able to use the pitches during the week. We have also secured the lease from The Harpsden Trust on an additional 11-a-side pitch in the village of Harpsden, just outside Henley, which is reserved for our older age-groups.
The club has a clubhouse, but it is separated from the pitches by Tesco’s busy access road. We have planning permission for a new pavilion on the grass, which would provide children’s toilets, storage, catering facilities and access for the disabled. At the second attempt in 2010 we were unable to secure funding from either SODC or the Football Foundation. Our main hope therefore is for a generous private sponsor to come forward. Meanwhile, we are seeking contributions from Henley’s business community. If you are interested in supporting us please contact:
H: 01491 578850
M: 07711 845956