A-Z of Clubs continued: From Shepshed to Worcester
SHEPSHED ALBION - One single season in the league in 91/92 saw them finish fifth in the Northern Division.
SHEPSHED DYNAMO - The present Dynamo club were formed after the demise of Albion above, and they too spent one season in the Northern Division, in 98/99.
SHREWSBURY TOWN - The Nationwide League club were welcomed into the MFYL for the first time in 2001/02. Competing in the Northern Division they finished third in their opening term, and were runners up in the Western Division last season. Unfortunately cutbacks following the club's relegation from the Football League have seen them forced to resign from the MFYL.
SOLIHULL BOROUGH - Originally had two seasons in the MFYL from 90-92, but constantly being refused permission to erect lights on their own ground meant Boro leading a "nomadic" existence with their first team constantly having to groundshare. Finally returned to the MFYL's Southern Division in 96/97, finishing fourth, then the following year they were runners up, as well as being beaten by Leicester City in the semi final of the League Cup. After a season's break they gained fourth position in the Central in 99/00 season, and fifth the following season. Continuing problems with their new ground's surface however meant the youth side being axed at the end of the 00/01 season.
#SOUTHAM UNITED - The Midland Combination club joined the MFYL for the first time in 00/01, but were forced to withdraw near the end of the campaign due to a walkout by the manager and players. However, they were accepted back into the the league for 2001/02 to take up a vacant Southern division place, and then joined the rest of their fellow Warwickshire clubs in the new Eastern Division for the 02/03 season.
#STOURBRIDGE - The club entered into Under 18 football as recently as 95/96. After two seasons in the Southern Division and one in the Central, their best campaign, 98/99, saw them finish fourth in the Northern section, lose narrowly to Worcester City in the final of the Worcs FA Youth Cup and also reach the last four of the Birmingham FA Youth Cup. 99/00 found them back in the Central, but their most impressive displays came in the League Cup, in which which they netted ten goals while trouncing two Premier Division sides, and also beat runway Northern champions Ilkeston, before losing 4-3 to Premier outfit Hinckley in the final. After withdrawing from youth football for the 01/02 season they made a welcome return to the fold for 02/03, finishing in fifth position and reaching the final of the Birmingham FA Youth Cup for the first time.
#STOURPORT SWIFTS - The Worcestershire club have in the past appeared in the West Midlands Youth League, and were Worcs FA Youth Cup finalists in 1975. One of the few Midlands Dr Martens League outfits not to have appeared in the MFYL, they make their debut in the Southern Division for the 2003/04 season.
#STRATFORD TOWN - The Midland Alliance club are currently in their 11th season with the MFYL, having first entered in 92/93. Finished fourth in that first season, but their best position to date is the runners up place they took two season's later. Their biggest honour however was winning the prestigious Birmingham FA Youth Cup a few season's back. Although finishing two places off the bottom in 00/01 their three wins included the "double" over runners up Worcester, and they also had the distinction of knocking Premier champions Kidderminster out of the League Cup ! The last two seasons have seen them finish in fifth place.
#SUTTON COLDFIELD TOWN - Had three seasons with the MFYL between 90-93, with a best finish of sixth. It was when they returned in 98/99 however that they became a force to be reckoned with. That season they won the League Cup by beating Southern Division champions Gloucester, and were only denied their own Northern Division title by a shock last-game defeat. The next two seasons saw them finish third and fourth respectively, then in 2001/02 they battled it out with "big boys" Walsall and Shrewsbury and were rewarded for their efforts with the runners up spot. They eclipsed all that last season however - a superbly paced finish saw them overtake Shrewsbury, Hednesford and Tamworth on the last lap to win a Western Division "marathon", and that made it a hat-trick of trophies for manager Roy Rencher's side as they had also won both the Birmingham and Worcestershire FA Youth Cups in very impressive fashion.
#TAMWORTH - Had a single season in the Northern Division in 85/86, with their third place finish still their highest to date. Spent a further six campaigns in the Northern from 87-93, then after a four-year break they returned in 97/98, moving back to the Northern section after one season in the Central. 99/00 brought success with a comprehensive victory in the Staffordshire FA Youth Cup Final, as well as a decent fourth place in the league. 2002/03 saw them involved in a close Western Division race before finishing fourth.
TELFORD UNITED - A four-season stint in the Southern Division from 89-93 saw them finish 4th, 3rd, 4th and 5th. Their only other appearance in the league, however, came in 99/00, when they finished fifth in the Northern Division before resigning prior to the 00/01 season after an invitation to join the new Conference Youth League.
VS RUGBY - Joined the MFYL in 85/86 and in the next two seasons finished fourth and fifth respectively in the Northern Division. After a long ten-year absence they rejoined the Northern in 97. Switched to the Central for 00/01, under their new name of Rugby United.
WALSALL - Football League club Walsall had immediate success when they joined the MFYL in 90/91, winning the League Cup and finishing second in the Northern Division. They then spent three more seasons with the league before departing. Made a welcome return to the MFYL last season, and completed an impressive "double" of Northern Division champions and League Cup winners to earn a place in the Premier Division. Success continued as they immediately swept to the Premier title last season, and it is a major blow that they have been forced to quit the MFYL for the 2003/04 campaign.
WALSALL BOROUGH - Borough preceded their more illustrious neighbours above into the MFYL, joining in 83/84 and finishing as Southern runners-up the following season. After one more season they took a year's break before returning to take fourth spot in 87/88, their last season in the league.
WALSALL WOOD - Marked their MFYL debut in 88/89 by finishing second in the Northern Division, but after two more seasons pulled out of the league. Suddenly reappeared in 98/99 with a skillful side that took the Northern title, but just as suddenly they disappeared again on the eve of the 00/01 season.
#WELLINGTON - The Herefordshire club, members of the Banks's West Midland League, entered the MFYL for the first time in 01/02 and made a terrific impact. Southern Division leaders from October right through to the final week of the season, they finished runners up to Nationwide League club Cheltenham only on goal difference. Last season saw them in a two-horse race with their more illustrious local rivals Hereford United, and though they again missed out in second place they further established themselves as a force to be reckoned with, and also reached the final of the Herefordshire FA Youth Cup (beating Hereford United at Edgar Street in the semi finals !) before losing narrowly to a strong Newport County side.
#WEST BROMWICH ALBION - Albion have found the MFYL a useful league for a mixed side of first-year Youth Trainees and Under 16's, and are now in their 12th season. During that time they have played in four different divisions, with finishing positions of 2nd-4th-4th-3rd-1st-2nd-3rd-3rd-3rd-2nd, and last season 2nd again. In their first campaign they also won the League Cup, and in 96/97 they completed a "treble" of League, League Cup and Supplementary Cup. Last season they became the first club to win the League Cup on three occasions.
#WILLENHALL TOWN - The Staffordshire club were a welcome addition when they returned to the MFYL for the 00/01 season, having been the first ever winners of both the League and League Cup back in 82/83. In between they had a four-year spell from 89-93, with a best position of fifth in the Southern Division. They currently have a link-up with North Birmingham College and play in the Western division.
WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS - Wolves are still the only club to have won three consecutive MFYL titles - Bedworth and Kidderminster have both won three in four years - and were also League Cup winners and finalists during their six season's membership of the league. They finished third in the Northern Division in 83/84, returned in 88/89 to finish fourth in the Southern and runners up in the Cup, then followed up with third spot and the League Cup the following year. They then embarked on their treble - the Northern Division in 90/91, and then the Southern trophy for the next two seasons.
#WORCESTER CITY - Another of the long-serving clubs, City are now in their 16th campaign, although success eluded them until their ninth season when they took the 93/94 Southern Division title. Their previous best had been third in their opening season, 83/84, but in 98/99 they
finished in second place and also carried off the Worcestershire FA Youth Cup for the first time in the club's history. Still looking for League Cup success themselves, despite having staged several of the finals at their St Georges Lane ground.
In 00/01 they again finished as Southern Division runners up, then the following season were part of an exciting Southern division title race before finishing just two points behind the winnners in fourth place. There was ample compensation however as they beat Premier Division champions Kidderminster to win the Worcs FA Youth Cup final.