Excitement on and off the pitch for Whaley Bridge

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Hallmark Cheshire Football League leaders Whaley Bridge Athletic have revealed plans to set up a development side next season.

Whaley Bridge lead the division - considered to be the best Step 7 league in the National League, having won North West Regional Charter Standard League of the Year and is in contention for National FA awards - top the charts by three points.

A change of management mid-term last season hailed the welcome return of the Hall/Brogden team and after a mixed start to this season Whaley settled into a terrific run of results, losing only one in 13 games, to rise to the top of the Premier League.

Defending CFL Premier Challenge Cup winners, they overcame 2015-2016 Premier League winners Knutsford FC on penalties last season, Whaley have again reached the final of this prestigious competition and will play Poynton FC at 7.45pm on April 13 at Trafford FC.

A couple of notable additions have improved the senior squad, albeit the season has been peppered with injury problems, with stalwart captain Rob Newton notably enduring a stop-start season to date.

Tom Scorer now a regular having progressed through the ranks is currently, excluding all cup competitions, the league’s top scorer and goalkeeper James Tattersall is also highly thought of.

After success in both the league and cup last season, the club found it impossible in limited time to replace retiring manager Dan Turner and for the first time in many years fielded just one senior team.

However, the club has moved forward and chair Steve Rampley has revealed advanced plans already in place to field a reserve/development squad next season. Young players wishing to get involved and those already expressing significant interest can visit www.whaleybridgefc.co.uk for further details.

WBAFC is an FA Community Charter Standard Football Club and fields a full range of age groups ranging from U9s-U18s plus a thriving U7s Soccer School on Saturday morning. The facilities, including a floodlit 3G artificial grass pitch, are well thought of with a committed group of managers, working with junior chair Dean Campbell.