Welcome to Ellesmere Rangers
Fri 20th July 2018 | Ellesmere Rangers | By Ian Templeman
The historic market town of Ellesmere, nestling in the North West corner of Shropshire on the Welsh border, is another new destination for clubs in Division One South this season.
Attractions in the local area are many, making it a popular destination for tourists, and its large number of lakes or meres has led to it being named Shropshire’s “Lake District”.
The town of Ellesmere is also the home of Ellesmere Rangers, and visiting supporters will be able to take the opportunity to visit one of the town's best known locations, with the club's Beech Road Stadium only a short journey away from the Mere in the centre of Ellesmere, which is the source of the club nickname "The Meresiders".
In addition, the club badge depicts a swan to represent an affinity with the large number of the birds that inhabit the local waterways.
Ellesmere Rangers in its present form was founded in 1969, although there have been football teams in the town since the early 1900s.
The club is very much a focal point of football in the town, having a thriving junior section as well as an Under 18 side, who play in the Midland Floodlit Youth League Northern Premier Division and also a senior women’s team who play in the Staffordshire County Ladies League, playing on Sunday afternoon.
As far as the first team is concerned, their rise up the non-league ladder began in 2004-05 when they joined the West Midlands (Regional) League Division Two, winning two successive promotions before becoming West Midlands (Regional) League Premier Division Champions in 2009-10, and gaining promotion to the Midland Alliance.
In the second of their three seasons in the Alliance, they went out of the FA Vase in 2011-12 losing 2-1 away at Norton United, one of only a handful of occasions they have played a club from our League down the years.
However, in the same competition in 2014-15 they went out in the First Qualifying Round to Stone Old Alleynians after a replay, who they will meet in league action for the first time this coming season..
In 2013-14 Rangers rejoined the West Midlands (Regional) League and remained there until the end of last season, before being moved laterally into our Division One South, and they are now one of four Shropshire clubs in our league.
Although they face the prospect of playing many unfamiliar opponents in what is a new league to them, Rangers will however have two short trips of less than seven miles for Shropshire derby clashes against FC Oswestry Town and St Martins, at the Venue in Oswestry, during the course of the season.
The team had established itself in the top half of the West Midlands (Regional) League table in recent years, finishing 7th and 6th in the last two years, with last season's top six finish being achieved despite a managerial change in mid-season.
For the 2017/2018 season Richard Brown and assistant Tim Jackson managed the team until mid January 2018 when they decided to step down and were replaced with Kevin Sandwith and Jamie Haynes as joint managers.
Now, as the new duo take charge of their first full campaign, Jamie says they are confident that they will be able to build and push on from last season.
"Both myself and Kev are relishing the challenge of competing in the Hallmark Security League this season", said Jamie.
"We are fortunate to have excellent facilities at Ellesmere Rangers, and having been in charge for the remaining last 16 games of last season we have been really pleased with how the current playing squad has bought into what we are looking to implement, both on and off the pitch.
"We have a really young squad of players with lots of potential and after a good pre-season we believe that we will be able to compete with the top teams in this league.
"We are looking forward to a fresh start in a new league where we will be a bit of unknown entity".