Charismatic Colebrook Royals

Putting the fun back into football (and it's management!)


Helping to run one of the UK’s leading male and female youth and adult football clubs carrying 32 teams can be quite a challenge. This is why Colebrook Royals Secretary Derringer Clarke is singing the praises of the life-changing PaySubsOnline, Football Management Software.

She told us: “When you have so many teams to manage time really is of the essence, and I can honestly say this software has been a Godsend. There’s no bank now in our immediate area so this not only saves long trips to manage monies, it can also help cut the paperwork down. I’d say it really does save us a lot of time, certainly cutting the job down by at least 50 per cent. There are only three of us on the Committee here, so everyone shares a number of tasks. Being able to rely on such a well-designed system can make all the difference. We are volunteers of course, and life can get very busy here, so being able to streamline our system is great.”

“It’s not about finding future footballers, though we have had a couple of players go on to the professional game. This is a club ready to help young people in terms of creating an environment where life skills and confidence can be taught in safety. It doesn’t matter to us if you aren’t a particularly gifted player. When you play for one of our teams you need to turn up on time, be disciplined, learn how to become a team player and work closely with others. Conduct yourself with respect for others and set a good example to those around you. All of this can be character forming and help those involved lead fulfilling lives.”

The teams range from those involving seven-year-olds right up to nineteen-year-old youth sides and seniors. Given the club was founded in 1997 with just two teams, their achievements are quite extraordinary. As kids playing football we all dreamed of running out at Wembley or playing in a cup final at some point. We fantasised about what it was like to be a professional footballer playing in front of thousands of people. Well, they can certainly live the dream and feel just like professionals given the facilities here. The Grange is a Football Foundation funded facility with drained professional grass playing surfaces, so fewer games are called off in bad conditions. A player’s tunnel provides access to spacious comfortable changing facilities with heated floors and showers. In fact, the ground really does offer a feeling of coming out at The Emirates or The Etihad. In this sense, no wonder everyone feels inspired. Derringer added: “It’s almost like a mini Wembley, and we also have a snack bar serving hot drinks and food on match days. We keep our football subs down as best as we possibly can to make football accessible to everyone no matter what background they come from. We also employ a strict code of conduct for both players, officials and parents. But in truth, the great thing about this club is there’s a real family atmosphere – we are one big family.”

Back in 2015, now Chairman John Eagleton, was presented with a Daily Mirror Pride of Sport Award for his work in youth football. Former Leyton Orient Manager Martin Ling has been a priceless coach here. And yet despite troubles encountered by one of football’s most famous professional clubs, he carries on with his labour of love at Colebrook (another reason why everyone is proud to wear those Royal Blue shirts). The Colebrook football clubs vision is to continue to grow, develop and through sporting opportunities, have a real impact on the young people in their local Essex community.

If you want to follow the success of Colebrook Royals, book a free online demo with’s football club software.

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