A YEAR ago Carterton Football Club was about to fold due to years of mismanagement and crippling debt.

After months of hard work and renovations, the club is celebrating its 13th youth team and is preparing for the opening of new pitches for the next season.

Club chairman and coach, Philip Godfrey, revealed he was brought in to 'save the club', give it structure and organise the accounts.

Mr Godfrey, who coaches under-18s, said the first thing he did was to bring accountants to run finances.

"Every single penny is now accounted for" – he promised.

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The club has developed a close relationship with the town council, who have been supportive of the changes over the last twelve months.

When Mr Godfrey presented council officials with financial reports – 'the very first ones in the club's history', as put by the chairman, he said they were impressed with the work.

Over the last 12 months, Carterton FC has grown from three to 13 teams, has ensured all have FA Recognised minimum Level One Coach, has a written club constitution and has refurbished the social club.

Mr Godfrey attributes the success to all the volunteers who include RAF members, parents of children in the teams and others who have worked for the club for decades.

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One of the volunteers is the 82-year-old maintenance worker, Glynn Yates, who build the social club himself back in the 1970s and now comes in daily to fix, paint and 'keep the facilities standing'.

However, the 59-year-old chairman said: "Our biggest problem is the lack of green pitches area."

Mr Godfrey admitted he contacted David Wilson Homes for help, who not only leased an adjacent field next to the Carterton FC stadium but also donated £5,000, so the club can prepare the area for in time for 2020 season.

Mr Godfrey retired several years ago after his business - a franchised network of four garages - was bough by a local company.

He has now fully devoted his time on improving the football club and has many aspirations for its future.

"It is like a full-time job" - he said.

Mr Godfrey hopes that te club will be able to expand to 18 teams in the next few years, adding five more youth teams.

He added there is plenty of room for growth and that a girls' team is also in the works.

Mr Godfrey, who has volunteered as a coach for more than ten years, has seen first hand how after-school sports can help children stray away from anti-social behaviour.

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The chairman said: "I just want to get kids playing football.

"We need to keep the kids out of trouble."

He admitted that the only way to do this is keep the club stable.

"You've got to have a vision and run it (the club) correct."

Mr Godfrey hopes that the club will be able to grow even more and open a new facility in Carterton.

He said the club is in talks with David Wilson Homes again and is hoping they will be able to help.

However, his biggest aspiration is that Carterton FC joins Carterton Town FC, as 'it makes sense to have both clubs under one roof'.

Mr Godfrey admitted though this will take time as there is a lot of 'bad history' between the two.