Eastbourne Rangers was formed in May 2009 by the gaffer Nick Stevenson. After many years playing for and managing other clubs, he decided a new challenge was needed, and went about forming a new team of his own from scratch. After securing sponsorship and gaining acceptance to the East Sussex Football League., the gaffer set about building a successful team that could challenge for silverware. After approaching many of the heavyweights (literally) of Sussex parks football, and some lengthy transfer negotiations, a squad of Galaticos was assembled to face the challenge of trying to win the league in the clubs first season. Things looked very promising as the mighty ‘red army’ went unbeaten through the first month of the season. Unfortunately this was as good as it got, as a lack of consistency in the team line-up, and a shortage of firepower up-front saw Rangers start to slip down the league. On reflection at the end of the season, a solid mid table sixth place finish and a cup semi-final wasn’t a bad return for the club’s first season.
After retaining most of the squad from the first season, as well as doing some more wheeling and dealing in the transfer market to secure a few quality additions, Rangers were ready to push on and improve in their second season. After a period of consolidation in the first season, there was no doubt that the goal for the second season was to be challenging to win the league, and to secure the first piece of silverware for the club. Once again Rangers went unbeaten throughout September, but this time there was no stopping them, as the ‘red army’ topped the table for almost the whole season, apart from a short period after Christmas where a small mid season blip saw them fall to third for a couple of weeks. However normal service was soon resumed and Rangers ended up securing the title by 5 points with a game to spare. As well as being crowned champions, they were also the proud owners of the best defensive record in the whole East Sussex League, with only 15 goals conceded in 18 league games. For the second year running the ‘red army’ also reached the semi final of the league cup.
After winning the league, Rangers were duly promoted to division 6 for the 2011/12 season. With the confidence gained by securing their first piece of silverware, along with a further strengthening of the squad, Rangers were looking to achieve the twin goals of securing back to back league titles, and doing a league and cup double. Unfortunately a early exit from the league cup on penalties made the second goal much harder to achieve. In the league it was a different story as the ‘red army’ went undefeated until mid October, and only lost 2 games all season. This excellent record saw Rangers crowned as league champions at the beginning of January (surely a record?), with the final margin between us and the runners-up being 10 points. Once again the red and blacks topped the division for almost the whole season, apart from a short period in the first couple of months. For the third season in a row Rangers also made it to a cup semi final, this time it was in the Eastbourne FA Junior cup, where they narrowly lost out to a team from five divisions above them. They were also very unlucky to lose out on penalties to another team from a higher division in the 2nd round of the league’s supplementary cup.
After their successes of the previous two seasons, Rangers have effectively found themselves being promoted two divisions to division 4 for the 2012/13 season, giving them an even harder task to face. But with the anticipated addition of a couple more players Rangers will certainly be looking to challenge for league honours again, and continue their rise up the divisions. The red & blacks will also be keen to get to their first cup final and taste cup glory, after coming so close on several previous occasions.
Rangers are always looking for new quality signings who will strengthen the team, so if you would like to be part of a well run club where you can come and enjoy playing football in a friendly and fun atmosphere, send us a message through the website and we’ll get back to you. The club also has an active social side, with many nights out and activities being organized every season, including quiz nights, race nights, nights out at the dogs, bowling nights, poker nights and a Christmas do.
Rangers would also welcome any supporters who want to come down and cheer on the mighty ‘red army’, especially for their home games at the ‘field of dreams’ (aka the Sports Park, Eastbourne). Details of games, kick off times etc. can be found here on the website.
The club would like to thank our new sponsors for this season, Paperlane and the Chalk Farm Hotel, along with our existing sponsors Priceless Pine & Oak and the Arlington Arms, who will also be providing the post match hospitality throughout the season.