Category: Club News

The Sports pre-season well underway

by Peter Scherer

Mickleover FC boss John McGrath and his assistant Ricky Ravenhill had the majority of the first team squad in training last night.

It was a mixture of returning players, new signings and academy graduates being put through their paces.

Striker Paddy Webb is looking forward to the start of the season, after scoring in the 3-1 friendly win against Borrowash Victoria last Saturday.

I can’t wait to get started, as it was frustrating for me how last season ended with so many games called off

So as a striker, is Paddy setting himself a target this season?

20 goals would be good for a start

he said before Andy Wright responded,

You’re the out and out striker and I am looking for 20 myself!

After which Paddy changed his thought to 40,

…I didn’t want to sound too confident.

The team have the next in their string of friendly matches on Saturday, when they play East Midlands Counties League Clipstone, who suffered a 6-1 home defeat against AFC Mansfield last weekend.

Reserves Manager Mackenzie is raising money for Prostate Cancer UK

I don’t particularly like cycling although I have done several rides which have raised just over £6,000 for MS Trust, Prostate Cancer and the Erskine Hospital. I’m not a frequent cycler and would maybe go out once a month and NEVER in the winter or when it’s raining! The furthest I have ridden in a day is just over 100 miles with the hardest days ride was in the “Ride the North” with the wind in your face for all of the 89 miles!!

I did actually quite enjoy doing Nightrider in London. Starting at 11 pm and finishing just after 6 in the morning, having done the central London tour from 2 am to 3 am ‘sh.

If I am not training for an event I might go out on my bike about once a month so doing this is not the norm for me!

I have been at ‘Sports’ for about 12 years being brought in by Dick Pratley and enjoyed the successful trip up the divisions. Last year was heading to be one of our more successful seasons – topping the league and in the Derbyshire Divisional Cup Final for the 4th time in 5 years. The success gave us promotion which brings extra costs, hence the fundraising.

Donations are going to be split 50-50 between Prostate Cancer UK and Mickleover F.C. Reserves. When I have completed the task we will divide the money raised by 2 and send each cause their total.

363 miles is the distance to Lands End via A and B roads. The mileages will be added consecutively and my aim is to complete in 3 weeks. (most of the charities are doing 100 or 300 miles and giving the rider a month to complete). The miles will be recorded on “Map my Ride”. It will take roughly 33 hours at an average of 11mph. Decent cyclists do 14/15mph.

The reserves have been promoted to the top league in the Central Midlands League. The promotion means we will be playing at a higher standards but has the drawback of incurring increased costs. We now have to pay for 3 officials for every game, provide post match hospitality and a matchday programme. We estimate that we need to find an additional £2,000+.

With regards to Prostate Cancer In the UK. Prostate cancer mainly affects men over 50, and your risk increases with age. The risk is even higher for black men and men with a family history of prostate cancer.

In England:

  • More than 40,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year in England.
  • More than 9,000 men die from prostate cancer every year in England.
  • Every hour, one man dies from prostate cancer in England.
  • More than 325,000 men are living with and after prostate cancer in England.

Message from the charity: In challenging and uncertain times, we’re proud to provide more than 150,000 people every month with up-to-date, evidence-led and award-winning information about prostate cancer.

We also fund research into better ways to diagnose prostate cancer, so men can be diagnosed earlier and more accurately – and into better treatments with fewer side effects, so that men stay alive and well for longer.

But the COVID-19 pandemic has forced labs across the UK to close, bringing that important work to a standstill.

We’re working hard to raise the funds we need to get our researchers up and running again once labs re-open, to ensure progress isn’t lost.

Please click here to donate if you can

Thank you,
D. Mac

Academies merge together to create the ESPFA

The Northern Premier League Football Academy (NPLFA), the Southern League Football Academy (SLFA) and the Isthmian League Football Academy (ILFA) have today merged to become the Education and Semi-Professional Football Academy (ESPFA).

The ESPFA was originally developed as the overarching organisation of the three step seven leagues – Northern Premier League, Southern League and Isthmian League – education and football programmes and the merger of all three under one official brand brings new opportunities and experiences for all students and clubs involved.

The NPLFA was created in partnership with Eliteform LTD and the Northern Premier League in 2014 to become the first ever league wide education and football programme in the UK.

An initial pilot programme that began in 2014/15 saw 75 students enrol at five member clubs and the success from the inaugural year saw the programme expand to over 300 students at 13 clubs by 2019.

In 2018 the Southern League joined and a year later, the SLFA began with seven member clubs and over 100 students.

Soon after in 2019, the Isthmian League became the third and final league at step seven of the English national pyramid system to join.

With the ILFA Scheduled to begin in 2021, the ESPFA was established as an overarching organisation to manage all three-individual league programmes across the nation and has appeared on all marketing throughout the 2019/20 season.

From today the ESPFA is now the ‘official further and higher education partners of the Northern Premier League, the Southern League and the Isthmian League.’

An exciting new chapter awaits with the new organisation providing new and improved pathways on and off the pitch, new experiences and opportunities, more competitive games, more flexibility on competitions as well as opening up new club partners from other leagues.

The new branding will further strengthen our excellent relationships with all three leagues and Eliteform LTD would like to thank all league officials involved for their support over the previous six years. 

For more information, please visit

Reserves play first practice match

by Peter Scherer

The Sports reserve team began the preparation for their first forthcoming season in the Central Midlands League Division South, with a friendly match against Midland Regional Alliance Premier Division side Derby Singh Brothers at Rolls Royce.

Dave Mackenzie and Aaron Hayer had the majority of last year’s team available plus a few new faces.

Academy keeper Tom Smith started, with Fin Davies, Gus Williamson, Elliot Murray, Ben Lewin, Tom Watson, Surafel Tefera, Jacob Edge-Lucas, Fin Barker, Brodie Carter and Josh Satchwell.

It was played as three-thirds rather than two halves, but after an even opening 10 minutes with a fair share of free kicks to both sides, Singh Bros began to go for a shoot on site strategy rather than close in play.

Sports had the first corner after about seven minutes, but  Barker’s cross wasn’t cleared and  Davies was fouled, but Tefera put the free-kick over the bar.

Singh’s went close too but their shot was cleared by Williamson, before Sports retaliated with a shot from Barker well saved by Singh’s keeper.

Tefera was on the receiving end of a couple of reckless tackles, but Singh’s strikers determination continued to cause problems to Sports defence.

There was a fairly fortunate free kick for Singh’s on the 20 minute mark. The kick went to the right of the Sports wall and was buried into the far corner of Smith’s net to give Singh’s the lead.

Singh’s went close again from the kick-off before Satchwell slid in by the far post and was close to grabbing an equaliser.

Just before the first 30 minutes were up both side had chances, with Singh’s firing just over the bar and Murray having a shot blocked from Lewin’s corner.

There were a number of changes for the second third, including Charlie Cotton, Clarence Clark and Joe Hopkins.

Hopkins was quickly on the attack but couldn’t find the space for a clear shot. But some heavy tackling forced the referee to reach for his book too.

As Sports started to push forward more as a team, Hopkins had a one on one with the Singh keeper, and missed out on a scoring chance by a whisker.

It was still 0-1 as the sides prepared for the final third and more changes were made.

Most of you got to play for 45 minutes, some got more

said Hayer as they kicked off again.

Kiran Sanghera was in goal and one of his first jobs was to face a Singh Bros penalty, which they duly scored.

But Ben Lewin pulled one back in the closing stages scoring direct from a corner kick.

The final third showed the progress made on the night as the Sports players began to gel and threatened Singh’s penalty area on more than one occasion.

Sanghera had to make one blocking save, as Singh’s continued to shoot at will, while Sports had a shot just over the bar before the final whistle.

A promising start and lots more to come.

Sports 1-2 Singh Brothers.

Jay McGrath joins the Sky Blues

Taken from

Coventry City are pleased to announce the signing of defender Jay McGrath from Mickleover FC.

The 17-year-old centre-back joins on a two-year-deal from the Northern Premier Division side and will link-up with the Sky Blues Development side.

Jay is predominantly a left-footed centre-half, who has also been deployed as a left-back during his career to date.

The youngster is the son of former Burton Albion midfielder, John McGrath, who is also the current manager of Mickleover.

Jay made his breakthrough season last year for Mickleover, making several appearances throughout the course of the campaign.

Upon the completion of the deal, Under-23s Head Coach, Luke Tisdale had this to say:

We’re delighted to welcome Jay into the group. He came on trial with us last season from Mickleover and stood out, so it’s great that we have brought him back in.

Jay’s a second year scholar and will spend his time with us in the 23s, but also will be available for the under-18s.

He’s good in the air and a talented young lad and he joins us with the unique experience of playing men’s football at such a young age and that can only help the lads here.

Jay McGrath then expressed his delight at completing his move:

I’m delighted to be here and I’m looking forward to getting started at such a big club with a great fan base.

I’m a left footed defender so I can play left-back or centre-back and I’m aggresive and I like to win my headers, tackles and battles, but also I like to play football and I’m here to work hard and get the best out of my time here.

I can’t wait to get going, hopefully I can push on and make some good progress this year to help my development.

A long distance supporter… and ex-player!

by Peter Scherer

It’s 46 years since Alan Gregson left Mickleover to settle in Western Australia, but his continuous following the Sports results qualifies him as probably the longest distance supporter.

But Alan’s connections are through his playing days too.

I played when it was still Mickleover Old Boys, went from Army Cadets into the team and I first played at 16. I don’t know if any of my old team mates are around, as they would be in their 90’s now, as I was one of the younger ones. It was run by Bert Roome then,

he said.

We played on playing fields and in 1948 played at Burnaston airfield, now Toyota. Most of the players were ex servicemen, but you had to have either a connection with Mickleover or live there. I had lived on the corner of Western Road since 1936.

The team had gone in the Derby Senior League,

We won the C Division Cup and by 1953 had moved up to the A Division, but I was unavailable for quite a lot of the time due to my National Service. We had also gone from the early Black and white stripes to Red and White quarters with black shorts.

Alan played as a left winger in his prime and was known as Ginner, due to his red hair.

I later helped out with the Mickleover Royal British Legion team

Since moving to Australia, Alan now 88, looks out for Sports results every weekend and follows the website and social media avidly.

I played with Club President Charlie Kenderdine and remember secretary Tony Shaw starting out as a very promising young player too. I have lots of very happy memories to treasure from my footballing days in Mickleover, very happy times indeed

he concluded.

Our NHS Allstar Charity Match Update

Due to the ongoing Covid – 19 issues we have reviewed the proposed charity game. As you know we were hoping to hold the match featuring an NHS charity side against a Mickleover side featuring a host of very experienced players, including Derby County Legends, Ex Internationals and stars from the footballing world, at the Don Amott Arena at the end of July.
We are again in the position that, due to safety reasons, the proposed date at the end of July will not be possible. We are going to ensure that this game will go ahead as soon as we can facilitate a crowd safely at the ground.
We thank the event sponsors JKE Security, R.G. Stafford Butchers and Andy Mitchell at for their patience and continued support.
Our first team is now back for training but due to the restrictions can only train in small groups.
We will let you know about the date for the match once the restrictions ease sufficiently.
Until then Stay Safe.

Mickleover FC launch new season packages

As things slowly return to normal we are starting to look forward to kicking things off again… hopefully soon! 

We will now be offering some amazing season passes so you can make some brilliant savings:

BRONZE – £500 – 1 season £900 two seasons

  • Entry to all our games – League,Cup & Friendly games
  • Reserved seats in the Stand
  • A match day programme + team sheet for all games
  • Pre match Tea, Coffee & Biscuits
  • Half Time refreshments
  • An advert on our website.

SILVER £700 – 1 season £1300 two seasons

  • Entry to all games
  • Reserved seats
  • Match day programme & teamsheet
  • Pre match Tea, Coffee & Biscuits
  • Half time refreshments
  • Advert on the website
  • Bring a Guest for up to 5 games
  • 2 free tickets for Hot August Night
  • Autographed ball – whole squad.

GOLD – £1000 for 1 season, £1500 for two seasons

  • Free entry to all games
  • Reserved seats
  • Match day programme & teamsheet
  • Pre match Tea, Coffee & Biscuits
  • Half Time refreshments
  • Advert on the website
  • Bring a guest @ £5 for all games
  • 2 Free tickets for our Sporting Dinner
  • 2 Free tickets for our Hot August Night
  • Autographed shirt from your favourite player at the end of the season
  • Autographed football from the whole team.


If you are interested in any of the above packages please email Tony Shaw –