The newly formed 250 club, an idea nurtured by Harriers supporters Phil Baker (pictured below) and Karl Rose amongst others, today released a statement outlining the thinking behind the club and how it can help Kidderminster Harriers FC progress in the future.
The full statement is re-produced below:
Kidderminster Harriers and a newly formed fans group known as The 250 Club are joining forces to raise funds in order that manager Stuart Watkiss can set up a full-time youth team of apprentice professionals.
Harriers’ relegation from the Football League has meant a closer cutting of the financial cloth and a back up team of aspiring pro’ players will be vital in bolstering a smaller than usual first team squad. Stuart is hoping to have around 20 apprentices enrolling on a two-year local college course tailored to providing football coaching and academic study. There will be a designated football coach and a college lecturer on board to run the scheme.
The support of fans and local businesses will hopefully provide the necessary funds to enable this scheme to begin almost immediately with football coaching taking centre stage until the academic year commences in September. The club is anxious to begin the process of selecting lads who show real potential from the existing youth team and will be looking closely at those who may have been released by Harriers’ larger neighbours. Stuart Watkiss is more than prepared to give them another chance to prove they can make it in professional football.
However, Harriers is not a wealthy club and without the help of supporters and sponsors alike, the scheme may not get off the ground in time to be of benefit during this crucial Conference season, particularly as there is now a transfer window in operation.
A Supporters Group known as the ‘250 club’ has been formed to raise ‘ring-fenced’ funds for the Youth Scheme by subscription of a single payment of £250 or 12 monthly instalments of £20.83. They will also be running fund raising events and donations too will be most welcome. These funds are expected to build up over an initial 12-month period and will ‘kick in’ when there is sufficient in the pot for its use to be effective. These funds would be controlled by the 250 club and used solely for the development and day to day costing of youth scheme; they will not be used for any other purpose.
Stuart Watkiss commented:
"The board, staff and I are fully behind the 250 club and their efforts to assist me in setting up the youth scheme this season rather than in 12 months time. There will be a lot of people at the Harriers hoping that this comes to fruition and I would urge every individual Harriers fan and the local business community to support this initiative and come together to make it a real success".
‘250 club’ chairman Karl Rose, a local businessman, is urging supporters and business people in the area to rally around the club and help to save the project. Karl says:
"The youth set-up at Kidderminster Harriers is a vital element in its long term future but the current situation impacts heavily on the clubs short term plans as well. There hasn’t been a youth team of sufficient standard at Kidderminster Harriers for a while now and they suffer as a result.
We need this scheme to go ahead and we need the local business community and individual sponsors to come forward and help us out.
The fans are standing by to take over the Youth Scheme funding and may well have a significant sum raised quite early on after the 250 Club goes ‘live’ but we will still need alternative financial input if it is to get off the ground now. We won’t be able to fund this project from day one, we will need time to build up our ‘pot’ and time is something in very short supply.
If anyone can help us get the show on the road, I would urge them to come forward and contact Stuart Watkiss at Kidderminster Harriers. Alternatively contact the 250 club on email@example.com or text or call the committee on 07747 111312, 07973 490110 or 07790 056958 and leave your details. We will certainly be calling you back".