Article written by Manager and Coach – John Dutfield (UKCC Level 2)
In 1968 I began as a voluntary youth leader at St Chad’s Youth Club in Oak Street, Coseley which had a netball team called “Chadites” playing in the Dudley Youth League – whose Chairman incidentally was our old friend Mick Bagley.
At that time my only involvement in netball was transporting the Chadites players to various youth centres throughout the borough for their matches and I saw no point in young girls throwing a bag of wind through a net especially as the team was always getting beaten.
In 1970 the female youth leader moved out of the area and as netball was growing on me I volunteered to take over the running of the team. As St Chad’s Youth Club was not just for church members, I decided to involve players from two of the local schools – High Arcal and Coseley.
This proved very successful as Chadites won every league match and tournaments in the Dudley Youth League over the next three years.
Our first taste of senior netball was when we played a friendly against Grasshoppers who, at that time, were the champions and had been for several years in the Dudley Netball League; coached by Syd & Joyce Smailes. Even though we were beaten the girls enjoyed the match and it the Grasshoppers coaches who suggested we joined the senior league.
At a club meeting in early 1973, we all decided that if we were entering the Dudley League we needed to make a fresh start by changing the name of the team and, as most of the girls and myself lived near or on the Bramford Estate, it was agreed that the team would be called Bramford Park Netball Club and so the present club was formed.
Over the years we have had our fair share of success winning trophies e.g. League Winners, League Runners Up, Tournament Winners, Tournament Runners Up, several individual trophies for Player of the Season etc.
The club has grown over the years and now has 3 teams and a Youth Development Squad open to players under the age of 16; we welcome players of any age or experience to come along to our training sessions on Tuesday evenings 8pm to 10pm at Summerhill School, Lodge Lane. Kingswinford.