Bishop Juniors have now officially become part of Northern Premier League East side, Shildon AFC. The respective Clubs who have been partners for the last few years made the move official when founder of Bishop Juniors, Darren Tait, announced that he wanted to step aside from football to spend more time with his family.
David Dent, Chairman of Shildon AFC will become Chairman of Bishop Juniors with immediate effect and John Reay, a former coach with the Club, returns as Director of Football, supporting the existing Management Team. David will be joined by his wife Diane, and fellow co-owner of Shildon.
The acquisition safeguards the future of Bishop Juniors and strengthens the pathway for players. The move will look to build upon the excellent work from Darren and his team, continuing to be a Coach led Club with an emphasis upon quality coaching and player development.
David said: ”I’m delighted to be in a position to safeguard Bishop Juniors FC and to hopefully build upon the fantastic work that Darren has done. My Grandson, Alex attends development sessions at the Club and I can see the huge impact that the Club has on the community which I couldn’t allow to die. Apart from the change of directors nothing changes other than I think we can leverage in even more opportunities for players and their parents through Shildon AFC and our relationships with professional Clubs. We also want to explore girls and disability football, but that’s for another day.”
Darren commented: “After first qualifying as a Coach just over 30 years ago I have been heavily involved in coaching grassroots football for the last 18 years, the last 8 of those with Bishop Juniors FC.
As a club we set up something that was a completely different model, whereby we brought in coaches as opposed to parent volunteers and the fact that in such a short time the club grew as big as it did speaks volumes for the work and dedication that was given by everyone involved.
I’m leaving the Club in good shape & quite honoured that a Club of the stature of Shildon AFC, Step 4 on the Non League Pyramid System, are ready to step in and progress the club on to even better things.”
Bishop Juniors will be hosting an open meeting in the near future where players and their parents have the opportunity to meet John Reay and Shildon AFC’s First Team Manager Chris Hughes. Further details will be released in due course.