Soho Albion FC has bright start to first season


Soho Albion FC has started their first season brightly, winning most of their matches in the Sandwell Valley Minor League and Walsall League. Teams from u7s, u8s, u9s and u10s were chosen from over 1000 local players who tried out at The Hawthornes over the Summer.  Soho Albion is a partnership between Premier League club West Bromwich Albion and the local communities of Ladywood, Handsworth and Winson Green and is the brain child of WBA’s head of recruitment and Winson Green old boy Steve Hopcroft.

“We’re really pleased with how it’s all progressing,” said Hopcroft.

“After a fantastic start, Soho Albion is now a fully formed football club that is running itself. It will continue to be a sustainable club offering football for free.

“All of the lads were there to watch the Watford game which was an amazing experience too!”

Now the season is underway, Ash Richard, one the brilliant Soho Albion coaches, is offering ‘Soho Albion Academy’ sessions every Saturday morning for boys to develop their skills at Summerfield Park, 11am-12noon each Saturday. The cost is £1 per player and all u7 to u10 boys are welcome.

To see WBA article and video on Soho Albion see here

West Brom Sparks Soho Albion FC

West Bromwich Albion FC have established a ground-breaking youth football club just a stone’s throw from The Hawthorns in the Birmingham ward of Soho. fullsizeoutput_1fc1

‘Soho Albion’ is the first football setup for youngsters in the Soho ward and the only free-of-charge junior outfit to be organised and supported by a Premier League club’s Academy Recruitment department.

It is the brainchild of Albion’s Head of Academy Recruitment Steve Hopcroft – himself a childhood resident of Soho – who has worked with volunteer coaches and West Midlands Police to get the project off the ground.

More than 50 boys have signed up for Soho Albion’s four age groups, from under-7s through to under-10s, after more than 1,000 children were trialled.

Soho Ward extends from The Hawthorns along the A41 (Soho Road) to Hockley and encompasses parts of Winson Green, Smethwick, Bearwood and Ladywood.

“We have a long-term strategy which focusses on recruiting boys from the local area,” said Hopcroft.

“We looked at the Soho area and thought about what we could do to get boys playing organised football.

“This project will mean all aspects of playing football will be completely free of charge for the boys’ parents, meaning a real investment in youngsters in the areas immediately surrounding the club’s Stadium.

“With our assistance the volunteers have made a fantastic start and it looks set to be a sustainable club which will offer football for free.

“We’re really pleased the project has progressed so quickly and it’s exciting to think that boys from Soho Albion could make their way into our Academy.”

Soho Albion Director, Ashley Barker, added: “I lived and worked in Bangkok for 12 years and saw there how football could bring people together.

“I moved to Winson Green and realised there was no football club here, we met Steve [Hopcroft] and we connected really quickly.

“We dreamed that football could be that galvanising catalyst for relationships and we’re really looking forward to seeing some of our boys progress.”