Ahead of tomorrows friendly versus AFC Liverpool, we take a look at our opponents and provide you with a brief history.
Who are they?
This information is sourced from ‘www.afcliverpool.tv/our-club/about-afc-liverpool’
AFC Liverpool is an independent football club that was set up in 2008 by Liverpool fans who were priced out of top flight football. The club is owned by the fans and run by the fans. Anyone can become a member and have an equal vote on how the club develops. One member, one vote.
AFC Liverpool is a genuine, not for profit football club, so all the revenue generated stays within the club and doesn’t line the pockets of a multi-millionaire owner.
Although the club is run by fans, the Society Board has been carefully picked and voted for by the members to include many professionals in their respective fields, so there is nothing amateurish about the make up of the club.
AFC Liverpool is run as a professional organisation with big ambitions, both on and off the pitch but always puts the fans first.
It is aimed especially at those Liverpool fans, who for whatever reason, are not attending Premier League football, be they priced out or just unable to get tickets.
They currently play in the North West Counties League Premier Division, five promotions from the Football League.
Where do they play?
They currently play at Rossett Park in Crosby, Merseyside. Rossett Park is owned by Marine FC and AFC Liverpool share the ground.
AFC Liverpool History:
Sourced from ‘www.afcliverpool.tv
AFC Liverpool was formed in 2008, by Liverpool FC fans, who had becoming increasingly frustrated at the cost and difficulty in obtaining tickets for the Premiership. The supposed ‘39th game’ in which Premier League fixtures would be played in different parts of the world proved to be the final straw, highlighting that top flight football is now more concerned about money than its fans.
A website was created and, with the response being positive, work began to move to the next stage and create a steering group to make the club a reality.
At the beginning of March 2008 AFC Liverpool was officially formed and it was made clear that the club was not in any way a response to the ownership issue at Anfield or a protest against Liverpool Football Club, more a reaction to issues at the top end of football in general.
By May, AFC Liverpool had appointed its first manager in Derek Goulding. The following month the club arranged a groundshare with Prescot Cables and had been accepted into the North West Counties Football League.
The club’s first game was a 1-1 draw in a friendly with St Helens Town on 16th July 2008 and they began their inaugural league season extremely well, beating Darwen 5-0 in their first competitive game and going on a run of ten wins in the first eleven games.
However they failed to keep this momentum going, and the club eventually finished fourth in the league. The season did prove fruitful though as a victory in the final of the First Division Trophy over Padiham at Ashton Athletic provided the club’s first piece of silverware.
2009/10 began with three successive victories but after this the season became very indifferent. After a 5-2 home defeat to Atherton Collieries on Easter Monday, Derek Goulding left the club and ex assistant and goalkeeping coach Paul Moore was appointed caretaker Manager.
Under Moore’s stewardship AFC had a strong end to the 2009/10 campaign, winning five out of their last seven league games to climb to fifth in the league and also retaining the First Division Trophy, coming from behind to beat Cheadle Town 2-1 in the final at Flixton. In doing so, AFC Liverpool became the first club not only to win the Trophy twice but also successfully defend it.
2010/11 also began in promising fashion with the Reds going on a ten game unbeaten run after an opening day loss at AFC Darwen. However despite amassing their highest ever points total promotion never looked probable due to the form of would be Champions AFC Blackpool and second placed Runcorn Town, resulting in a fourth placed finish, missing out on third by goal difference.
There was disappointment too in the First Division Trophy when they reached the final for a third consecutive time only to lose to Atherton Collieries 3-2 in extra time. In the FA Vase, steady progress was made to the third round, where their dreams of Wembley were dashed by a defeat at Whitley Bay, who would go on to claim a third successive triumph.
However at the League AGM in July 2011 there was a surprise when Rossendale were expelled from the league and Formby were demoted to the First Division. Holker Old Boys, who finished third on goal difference, declined an invitation to take up a place in the Premier Division, meaning that AFC Liverpool were invited to take the place and the club accepted the chance that was offered to them.
The 2011/12 season started badly in terms of results but not performances for AFC Liverpool as they had to wait until November for their first League victory, which came about in the form of a 7-0 demolition of Winsford United.
From that point, AFC Liverpool, who had been rooted to the foot of the table, began the steady climb out of danger, ultimately finishing in nineteenth place, sixteen points clear of the relegation places.
2012/13 saw AFC Liverpool consolidate their position in the North West Counties Premier Division with an eleventh placed finish, accumulating sixty points in the process. As the season progressed, manager Paul Moore built a core squad of players, which played some of the most exciting, attractive football in the league and post Christmas, won fifteen and drew five of twenty eight games, including a defeat of eventual Premier Division champions Padiham on their home patch.
The performances were rewarded in the final game of the season as the Reds beat recently crowned champions of the Evo-Stik NPL First Division North, Skelmersdale United, 3-0 in the Liverpool Senior Cup semi final to book an all North West Counties clash with Bootle in the final.
in 2013/14 the Reds started the campaign at a pace, topping the early tables. They fell just short of being the youngest club to claim the Liverpool Senior Cup, losing the final on penalties, and remained among the league’s pacesetters until November and December when six points taken from eight games saw them drop away. Paul Moore’s side remained consistent post Christmas though and the club eventually achieved their highest league finish, ending up seventh with a total of seventy points.
Last season, AFC Liverpool managed to record their highest ever win with a 9-0 victory against St Helens Town before eventually finishing ninth in the NWCFL Premier Division. They also reached their second Liverpool Senior Cup final, beating Ashton Town, Everton and Bootle along the way. In an exciting final, which saw both teams score in the opening two minutes, AFC Liverpool were just unable to claim the trophy, with NPL side Skelmersdale United eventually winning 5-4.
AFC Liverpool started the 2015/16 in fine form, winning five out of their first six games, including a 9-2 away win at Chadderton in the FA Cup and a 3-2 win against NPL side Radcliffe Borough in the following round to send the Reds through to the First Qualifying Round for the first time in their short history. At the end of September 2015 though, manager Paul Moore decided to move one and his place as taken by former midfielder Joe Gibbons, who had been on Moore’s backroom staff firstly as coach and then assistant manager since July 2013. However, after a good start to his tenure, a string of poor performances and results saw Gibbons resign after just nineteen games in charge. First team coach Kevin Dally was then appointed as the interim manager and with most of the squad also having departed, Dally had just five days to bring in almost an entirely new squad before his first match in charge, which was a 2-2 draw away at Alsager Town.