Grays Athletic F.C.

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Grays Athletic
Grays ath.jpg
Full nameGrays Athletic Football Club
Nickname(s)The Gravelmen,
The Ath,
The Blues
Founded1890
GroundMill Field
Aveley,
Thurrock
Ground Capacity1,100
ManagerJody Brown
LeagueIsthmian League Premier Division
2013–14Isthmian League Premier Division, 14th
 
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Grays Athletic
Grays ath.jpg
Full nameGrays Athletic Football Club
Nickname(s)The Gravelmen,
The Ath,
The Blues
Founded1890
GroundMill Field
Aveley,
Thurrock
Ground Capacity1,100
ManagerJody Brown
LeagueIsthmian League Premier Division
2013–14Isthmian League Premier Division, 14th

Grays Athletic Football Club is an English football club that currently plays in neighbouring town of Aveley after leaving the New Recreation Ground in Grays at the end of the 2009–10 season. The club is currently a member of the Isthmian League Premier Division.

History[edit]

Grays Juniors were founded in 1890 as an amateur club, rising through the ranks to senior status, before merging with former Southern League club Grays United to form Grays Athletic.[1] The newly formed club joined the Grays & District League Division. Other teams competing in Grays at the time were Grays Amateurs, Grays Avenue Swifts, Grays Hotspurs and Grays Wednesday – with whom they shared the Recreation Ground pitch.[1]

Grays Athletic became founder members of the Athenian League, in which they briefly played before World War I (1912–1914, and again since 1958). In 1945 they were one of the nine founder members of the Corinthian League, which they won that first season.

After playing in the Isthmian League between 1983 and 2004, they were founder members of the new Conference South. They were divisional champions at the first attempt, and also won the FA Trophy. In the 2005–06 season, they took an early lead in the Conference National division, remaining unbeaten for a record equalling 15 games, but eventually finished in third place and were beaten in the semi-finals of the promotion play-offs by Halifax Town. They did, however, successfully retain the FA Trophy with a 2–0 win over Woking.

After the 2005–06 season Mark Stimson left the club (joined Stevenage Borough) and Frank Gray was appointed as the new manager. However, after just 14 games, his last being a disappointing 0–1 home defeat to Bromley, he was sacked. Micky Woodward appointed himself as manager for a short while and player/coach Jamie Stuart took charge of an Essex Senior Cup match with Woodward assisting. After this Andy King was appointed as manager. On 5 January 2007, Andy King handed in his resignation. He was replaced by Justin Edinburgh, his assistant at the time, who became the fourth manager of Grays during the season. Grays eventually finished 19th in the league, just avoiding relegation. In total Grays fielded over 50 players in all competitions.

On 20 February 2008, it was announced that Justin Edinburgh had departed the club, terminating his contract by mutual consent, leaving the club 14th in the Conference National. Chairman, Micky Woodward, took the helm for a second time until the end of the 2007–08 season.[2] Woodward promoted goalkeeping coach Gary Phillips to assistant manager, while also appointing Neil Smith and Tim O'Shea as coaches to help with training and tactics.

After resigning from the Football Conference in 2010, Grays attempted to gain entry to the Isthmian League Premier Division. This was at first accepted[3] but, on 8 July 2010, the League reversed the decision, and Grays were scheduled to play in the Essex Senior League.[4][5] However, on 15 July, it was announced that Grays Athletic would play in the Isthmian League Division One North.[6] They finished mid-table in their first year in the Isthmian Division One North. The following 2011–12 season, Grays finished fifth, losing to Enfield Town in the play-offs.

In the 2012–13 season, Grays finished as champions of the Isthmian Division One North, securing promotion to Isthmian League Premier Division, scoring a club record 102 points from 42 matches, having lost only four games. From 9 February 2013 to 27 April 2013 Grays Athletic won 18 consecutive league matches, breaking a 105-year-old Isthmian League record.

On 14 June 2013, it was announced that the club would groundshare for the 2013–14 season with Aveley at their Mill Field ground in Thurrock.[7]

Stadia[edit]

Main article: New Recreation Ground

Between 1906 and 2010 the club played at the New Recreation Ground. After the ground was sold to developers, Grays Athletic ground-shared with East Thurrock United at their Rookery Hill ground in Corringham.[3]

For the 2012–13 season, Grays Athletic played at Rush Green Stadium, Rush Green sharing the ground with West Ham United's reserves who play in the Professional Development League.[8] The following season, West Ham pulled out of the deal in June and Grays promptly announced a two-year deal to ground share with Aveley at Mill Field.

Players[edit]

Current squad[edit]

As of 7 October 2014

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No.PositionPlayer
GKConor Gough
GKLamar Johnson
DFAaron Best
DFJonathan Glowacki
DFJay Leader
DFManny Parry
DFBen Sampayo
DFJey Siva
DFRuddock Yala
DFJoseph Zerafa
MFKenny Beaney
MFMark Bentley
No.PositionPlayer
MFJoao Carlos
MFLewis Dark
MFGlen Little
MFAkwasi Marfo
MFAaron Wickham (dual registration with Banbury United)
MFJordan Wilson
FWChris Bryan
FWDumebi Dumaka
FWLeroy Griffiths
FWJamie Guy
FWFreddie Ladapo (on loan from Kidderminster Harriers)

Out on loan[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No.PositionPlayer
GKLamar Johnson (on loan at Tilbury)
MFTroy Williams (on loan at Horsham)

Former players[edit]

For a complete list of former Grays Athletic players with Wikipedia articles, see Category:Grays Athletic F.C. players.

League history[edit]

SeasonDivisionPositionTop league goalscorerNotes
2003–04Isthmian League Premier Division6Freddy Eastwood, 28
2004–05Conference South1Leroy Griffiths, 19Champions
2005–06Conference National3Michael Kightly, 15
2006–07Conference National19Aaron McLean, 13
2007–08Conference National10Danny Kedwell, 13
2008–09Conference National19Andy Pugh, 7
2009–10Conference National23Jamie Slabber, 4Relegated
2010–11Isthmian League Division One North10Alex Osborn, 17
2011–12Isthmian League Division One North5Joao Carlos, 10Lost in play-off semi-final.
2012–13Isthmian League Division One North1Jack West, 17Champions
2013–14Isthmian League Premier Division14Joao Carlos, 20

Honours[edit]

Club records[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Watts, George H. (August 2006). The Place I Love Best. p. 14. 
  2. ^ Justin Leaves Grays Athletic, graysathletic.co.uk
  3. ^ a b "Grays Athletic win Ryman League appeal". BBC Sport. 2010-06-18. Retrieved 2010-06-21. 
  4. ^ "Grays Athletic refused Ryman League entry". BBC Sport. 2010-07-09. Retrieved 2010-07-09. 
  5. ^ "Grays Athletic – official statement". Ryman Football League Official Website. 8 July 2010. Retrieved 8 July 2010. 
  6. ^ "Grays admitted to Division One North". 15 July 2010. Retrieved 15 July 2010. 
  7. ^ http://www.thurrockgazette.co.uk/news/10487241.Grays_Athletic_to_make_Thurrock_return/
  8. ^ Grays Athletic F.C. Official website
  9. ^ Mansfield Town vs. Grays Athletic, 2 December 2005 – Match Details, graysath-online.com

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°30′12.45″N 0°15′10.41″E / 51.5034583°N 0.2528917°E / 51.5034583; 0.2528917