AFC Renegades are still in the hunt for a quadruple

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Author: Roger Jackson, Posted: Thursday, 8th March 2018, 11:30

AFC Renegades’ Saturday team

AFC Renegades may well need a bigger trophy cabinet come the end of the season.

That’s because the Cheltenham League Division Three club are still battling for honours on four fronts as the season moves towards its climax.

On Saturday they host Cirencester League team Kingshill Sports in the semi-final of the County Minor Cup, one of three cup competitions that they are still involved in.

They are also in the last eight of the Cheltenham League’s Senior Charities Cup as well as the last four of the league’s Minor Charities Cup.

And they haven’t given up hope of winning the Division Three title, although they trail St Paul’s United by seven points, albeit with a game in hand.

“We’ve had a brilliant season so far,” said club secretary Andrew Bullen, who founded the club five years ago. “Clive Cooper came in as manager at the start of last season and he’s done a brilliant job.”

But while the club, who play their home games at Innsworth Station sports pitch, have enjoyed that winning feeling for pretty much the whole of the campaign, they are going to have to dig very deep over the next few weeks if they are to turn their dreams of completing a quadruple into reality.

“We’ve still got an awful lot of matches to play,” admitted Bullen. “We’re going to have to play Saturday-Tuesday-Thursday.”

Indeed they will. They’ve still got 10 league games to play and could have another seven cup fixtures if they reach the finals of all three competitions they’re still involved in.

“We want to progress in all the cup competitions and also win promotion,” said Bullen. “We’ve got players wanting to join us if we win promotion.”

Only the top team wins automatic promotion this season with the teams placed second to fifth taking part in play-offs to determine who will accompany the champions.

One way or another Bullen is obviously very keen for his team to be playing in Division Two next season, so how far does he want the club to go?

“I’d like us to get into the Northern Senior League,” he said. “I’d also like us to have a reserve side at some stage.”

And it’s not just the club’s Saturday team that are flying high because their Sunday team are doing pretty well too.

“We’re top of Division One of the Gloucester and District Sunday League and we’re also in the semi-final of the league cup,” said Bullen. “We won the first leg against Wheatway 4-0.”

It’s an incredible tale of success and it appears there’s plenty more to come because Bullen plans to field a team in the Gloucestershire Veterans League next season as well.

Bullen, a goalkeeper, clearly knows what he’s doing. He played for Renegades in the Gloucester and District Sunday League when he was 16 before moving north and playing for Ossett Town and Harrogate Town.

When he moved back to Gloucester in 2010 he played for Ledbury Town until he broke his ribs. He then moved to Elmbridge Old Boys to “play with my mates” but when they folded in 2013 he took matters into his own hands and formed AFC Renegades.

And while he is clearly the club’s driving force he is keen to stress the help he has received from Andy Barr, of 10 Yetis, a digital PR and creative agency.

“He has supported us from day one and without him this club wouldn’t be where they are now,” said Bullen.

Bullen still plays the odd game – either in goal or up front – and helps Cooper and his assistant Dave Levett on matchdays.

He’s clearly full-on – he manages the Sunday team alongside his good friend Gary Morrison, who is his assistant.

However, Bullen is going to take a backward step next season when it comes to Sundays.

“My 13-year-old son Jack has won a place in the academy at Leeds Rugby League Club, so I’ll be up there on Sundays,” he said.

But while he may be out of sight when he’s in Yorkshire, you can be sure that AFC Renegades will rarely be out of his mind!

Other Images

AFC Renegades’ Sunday team
Andrew Bullen with the Gloucester and District Sunday League cup which they won a couple of seasons ago
AFC Renegades’ Saturday team manager Clive Cooper
AFC Renegades’ Saturday team captain Steve Loveys
Jonny Pratt is a key player for AFC Renegades’ Saturday team
Adam Loveridge is one of the main players for AFC Renegades’ Sunday team

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