August’s youth page.

Football’s Coming Home.

Walking through Bideford on semi- final night last month, everything was quiet and the tension was palpable…why? England was playing in the world cup semi finals for the first time in 28 years.

Events such as this always have a way of bringing people together but then more than ever it was clearly obvious. The feeling of camaraderie between people who had never met, but who were wearing their England shirts, the conversations between strangers who were watching a match together, this was something not prevalent since the Olympics. And although we lost out on the final there was something very atmospheric about the way the country was brought together by this event.

Unfortunately we can’t fail to notice that some people can get carried away, we only have to look at reports in the paper to see what happens when people go over the top and lose control – embarrassing at best, dangerous at worst.

However, thinking positively, our football team seem to be great role models- showing how a team work, resilience and hard work can achieve success. Manager Gareth Southgate is talked about as a boss who encourages hard work and discipline, but with good team relationships. I have been talking to a local coach who has spent many hours of his time developing these skills in young people and giving them an outlet to improve fitness and well-being.

Carl Strange says;

‘I have worked as a coach in schools, football clubs and summer holiday clubs over the past 7-8 years. The best thing about what I do as a coach is bring a bunch of kids together regardless of their background or what school they go to and we produce something that is truly remarkable. The players might not see each other from one week to the next but when they do come together they are all part of the same team playing together on the same level where every player as a role to play within the Squad.’

Football gives a sense of belonging to something bigger than any one individual can create by themselves and that goes right throughout the game, from youth football right up to the elite internationals.

Thanks to Carl Strange, Coach for Bideford AFC U14’s football team (picture above.) Anyone interested in joining or who has any questions can contact Carl on 07530974506.

Lucy Braund.


Bideford Town Youth Band.

We have recently been lucky to receive a grant from Devon County Council’s Locality Budget allowing us to purchase some much-needed student instruments. We plan to use the instruments to extend the outreach work that the band does to both Westcroft School and also East the Water School, Bideford. At both schools, students will be offered an instrument, for free, along with music and tuition from experience musicians from within the Band.

The Youth band is thriving under the baton of its tutor, Judith Nock; indeed several of its members now play in our senior band too. One player recently won his class in our local solo and quartet contest for the second year running. This contest attracts players from all over the south west of England as well as Wales. If you’d like to join or support the band in any way, please get in touch via email to Check us out on Facebook or at


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