OLDLAND

2010 was Oldland's centenary Year after Bristol and District League handbooks of the 1920's revealed that the team was founded as St. Anne’s (Oldland) at California Road in 1910. Earlier records indicate that football was being played in Oldland in the 1890's and that the local side enjoyed success around the turn of the century but this cannot be confirmed by the league historian Colin Timbrell.

St. Anne’s (Oldland) won the GFA Minor Cup at the end of the 1921/22 season when league programmes resumed after World War One, then lifted the 1925 GFA Junior Cup but had to wait until the 1950's for further success. Little is known about the club's fortunes between the wars but they became founder members of the Bristol Premier Combination in 1962 and were promoted to the Gloucester County League in 1973, remaining there for twelve seasons until being re-elected as Oldland Decora in 1986.

The seventies was a successful period for the club; the reserves were District League division 5 and 4 champions in two successive seasons (1975 and 1976) and the first team won the GFA Senior Amateur Cup in 1977. Secretary of the Reserve and A sides, Reg Hamblin, first played for the club in 1952 and has been secretary since 1962, he is a life member of the Bristol and District League and highly regarded for his efficiency and manner throughout local football.

The A side won the Bristol and District division 5 title again in 1991, then former player Herbie Johnson led a B team of mainly 16 year olds to the GFA Primary Cup in 1994 and the Bristol and Avon League's Jack Jenkins and Sportsman's Trophies in the following year. In 1996 they also won the league's Division 1 title. In 1995 the first team were relegated from the Gloucester County League but bounced straight back as Bristol Premier Combination champions the following year.

ABBOTONIANS

Pupils at Hanham Abbots school launched Abbotonians football club as juniors in 1947 and they enjoyed many league and cup successes in the early years, including Kennedy Cup wins in 1961, 1966 and 1972. The club also won the GFA Intermediate Cup in 1962 and 1969, the 1968 GFA Minor Cup. It also became the Bristol Churches League Under 16 league winners in 1959 and 1961 and Under 18 league winners in 1960. Mike Millard took this junior side into adult football, his son Steve then becoming manager as the club based itself at Shellards Road, Longwell Green.

Whilst playing at Longwell Green, Abbots were guided by long serving secretary George Threader, manager Jeff Evans and chairman Bill Holloway, whose son Ian enjoyed tremendous professional success as a player with Bristol Rovers, Wimbledon, QPR and now manager of Crystal Palace in the English Barclays Premier League.

OLDLAND ABBOTONIANS

The two clubs merged in 1998, playing in the Somerset Senior League. Alan Bush was appointed chairman of the newly merged club based at Oldland's Castle Road ground and still has a major input in the club despite now living in Malta. Oldland Abbotonians won the Somerset Senior League Division One in 2004/05, were Premier Division runners up in 2005/06 and promotion to the Toolstation League in 2006/07.

Spencer Thomas took over from ex-Arsenal player David Hillier at the start of the 2009/10 season; Hillier had replaced Lee Gibbs at the start of the 2008/09 season. Gibbs had led the 1st team into the Western League and Hillier helped them become the first ever Division 1 side to win the Les Phillips (league) cup, securing 7th place in the league as well.

Spencer and his squad managed to gain runners-up spot during the 2010/11 season but promotion was snatched away as the ground was not up to the League's strict regulations. 'Spenny' decided to stand down and a new management team of Paul Britton and Gary Brown arrived.
Planning permission was then granted for floodlights which were unveiled in November 2011 along with other club and facilities developments.

The pair stayed at Castle Road for two seasons and led the side to a fifth place finish in 2012/13, the season ending with a 19-game unbeaten run. Leaving in the summer of 2013, they were replaced by former Keynsham Town and Paulton Rovers star Nigel Lee, assisted by Jim Brown.

Shortly before Christmas, Nigel and Jimmy left the club and were replaced by former Yate United Reserves boss Dale Dempsey with Mike Shopland assisting him. Mike later left and was replaced first by Geoff Bryant and then Richard Dunn.

The Reserves are managed by Tim Brain, assisted by Gary Woodman and Tom Hutton. Oldland Ladies are managed by Steve Lavis, assisted by Scott Robson. The club currently runs three adult squads, a ladies team and two under-18 squads, both managed by Gary Woodman.

In the summer of 2013, the club announced a merger at youth level with Deerswood Youth FC, meaning that the club would have thirteen new junior sides from under-6’s to under-15’s training and playing under the club's valued FA Charter Status banner.

PROFESSIONAL CONNECTIONS

Oldland has often been described as a nursery for Bristol Rovers with Vic Lambden, Peter Sampson, Brian Bush and Mike Tippets all playing for the club before turning professional at Eastville. Former Rovers favourite Bobby Jones was one of many successful Oldland managers, a list which includes Roger Sealey, Stuart Nethercott, Spencer Thomas and David Hillier.

Abbots rose to heady heights under the leadership of Alan Bush in the 1980's with the help of former Rovers players Jeff Meacham, Steve Talboys (Wimbledon) plus Rovers favourites Graham Day, Peter Aitken and Phil Bater. Among youngsters who left Abbots to play for Rovers were Stuart Taylor, Phil Kite and Kevin Westaway.

Affiliations

Club sponsors