Ryman League is the goal for Mussels

Stuart Slaney (left) with Ralph Prodger
Stuart Slaney (left) with Ralph Prodger

SHOREHAM Football Club joint owners Stuart Slaney and Ralph Prodger are looking to drive the club forward in the next few years.

Mussels are targeting a place in the Ryman League within the next three seasons and also want to create a leading youth football academy for the area.

Prodger, owner of Prodger & Sons Scaffolding, recently joined up with Mussels chairman Slaney, who said: “Having Ralph on board as joint partner in the club is going to ensure that we take Shoreham FC to the next level.

“Ralph’s two sons already play for the club and Ralph has been around the club for the past year and from the inset he could see the potential and what I am trying to do here.

“When it was just myself, I had set a target of five seasons to try to get into the Ryman League.

“However, now Ralph is on board, we are looking at being in that division within three seasons. If we can become an established Ryman League club, that will benefit the club and attract a better quality of players.”

Mussels will now take the route of re-opening its social club, along with having a morning cafe for the community. The revenue from the social club and cafe will go straight back into the club’s youth development and the upkeep of the stadium.

Prodger has already made a huge impact with maintenance and repair work and now wants to take the club forward.

He said: “After being around the club for the past year, you can’t help notice and feel a new kind of buzz around the place. The club has now merged its youth section with Adur Athletic which now means we are one of the largest clubs in the area.

“The senior side of things is improving year on, year out and, above all, the club is moving in the direction of serving the community with a cafe and social club. If you want to be involved in football, then this club is the right place, it’s a sleeping giant.”

Mussels are set to run a youth football academy for two age groups, while an all-girl free soccer school will also run and both areas of the club will be linked with a school in the area.

Slaney is excited about the football academy and said: “This will be a massive move for the club and will only help us in the long run.

“That is a major factor of aiming for the Ryman League as we will be able to offer the youngsters a better standard of first-team football when they finally make that step up.”

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