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Deal Community Sports Football Club was originally set up in 2010/11 as the Senior Section of Deal Town Rangers Football Club, probably one of the biggest junior football clubs in the South East. The Rangers had identified a level of football that was not covered in the Deal area since the demise of the Betteshanger Welfare team that played in the Kent County League up to 2008, which meant that there was no football at that level available in the area between Sunday pub and semi-professional football.
Although it was too late to apply for membership to the Kent County League for the 2010/11 season, work got underway to lay the foundations for the following season. A mini-bus was donated to the Seniors for away travel, the full size pitch at Castle Community College was allocated to them and a Thursday night training slot was booked also at Castle Community. The Section was given the backing of the committee provided that the following criteria was adhered to:
- The Section should run financially independently and not draw on the Junior Section finances, and
- It should be the platform for the under 16s/18s and other local lads to progress to adult football.
The Club was elected into the Kent County League and started the 2011/12 season in Division 2 East and finished in the top half of the league table. Enthusiasm for the venture began to increase and this was reflected in the general turn out on training nights. It was decided that a Reserve team should be formed to make a smoother transition to adult football for our youth players and the Club was subsequently elected into the Canterbury & District League and placed in the Premier Division.
The 2012/13 season saw the first team finish sixth and were runners-up in the Les Leckie Cup losing the final to Sevenoaks F.C. at Faversham Town. The reserve team however finished bottom of the Premier division but somehow avoided relegation.
During this time it was realised that because the Rangers were continuing to grow as a club, taking children on from six and seven and already having fourteen boys teams playing in the East Kent Youth League, two girls teams in the Kent Ladies and Girls League and a Veterans team, as well as the two Senior teams, the need for additional premises became apparent. Also the move by the Football Association to require some of the younger age groups to move to nine versus nine matches meant that the club was outgrowing the facilities at Castle Community. Some of the teams were already playing at Marke Wood if pitches were not available at Castle. As luck would have it an arrangement was secured with Ripplevale School for the two adult teams to be able to play there for at least two seasons.
The first team were promoted to Division 1 East for the start of the 2013/14 season, due to the County League incorporating Reserve teams into the overall structure of the league so as to safeguard their Step 7 status. Their first game at Ripplevale School in Division 1 took place on September 14th and resulted in a 3-2 win against Hollands & Blair Reserves.
A week earlier the Reserves had their first game at the school which resulted in another win 2-0 against Dayspring Community Church F.C. Unfortunately the reserve team were struck a blow when the manager resigned with immediate effect three games into the season and most of the players went with him. As a result of this though and a lot of hard work behind the scenes, a new manager was installed. As a result of this change in personnel many of the under 18s started to take part in the training sessions.
The 2013/14 season proved to be a struggle for both teams, not helped by the earlier departure of the Reserve team manager and this had a knock on effect for the first team as well. The first team finished the season second from bottom but as Milton & Fulston United had already withdrawn from the League earlier in the season it is hoped that Division 1 status will be maintained for the 2014/15 season. The Reserves however will be relegated and we await the decision as to where from the Canterbury & District League.
Towards the end of the 2013/14 season it had become clear that because of the fundamental differences between the running of the two Sections, for the adult section to be able to develop and progress, an amicable split would be beneficial to both. This separation took place at the end of the season and Deal Community Sports Football Club was born. The Rangers being the Mother Club, it is written in the Constitution that the Community Sports Club continue to adhere to the same criteria laid down when the Senior Section was set up in 2010, that of progressing to adult football the Rangers under 16s and 18s and it is interesting to note that seventeen under 18s played for the first team and reserves and some played for both and that is something that everyone involved with the Club is particularly proud of.
Deal Community Sports Football Club will endeavour to provide a decent standard of Saturday football for the youth of Deal and Walmer and the surrounding areas. In addition, it will offer the chance of stepping up to adult football for all Deal Town Rangers boys when they reach the age of sixteen years if they have the commitment and ability, and providing they are currently registered with the Rangers. The Deal Town Rangers boys that meet these conditions will be charged no subscriptions. The Club is also committed to help and assist its players to play at the highest possible level.