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Clubhouse at Hartley Wintney Football Club

Hartley Wintney Football Club in Hampshire, England

Hartley Wintney is classified as a village, though a sizeable one these days, located close to the main town of Basingstoke in North Hampshire, within central southern England. The Football Club was founded in 1897, were founder members of the Home Counties League, and following promotion from the Combined Counties League Premier Division in 2016/17 and Southern League South East in 2017/18, the First Team now compete at Step 3 of the English football pyramid, in the Southern League Premier South.

The Club, nicknamed 'The Row', is indebted to the volunteer workers and sponsors who have not only continued to keep the Club afloat but have shared in its recent outstanding success on and off the pitch.

We have our ground at The Memorial Playing Fields, Green Lane, Hartley Wintney, Hants RG27 8DL. The club now has four covered stands, two with seating, and a low level area to accommodate wheelchairs. The pitch is of course fully floodlit and there is a well-equipped, licensed clubhouse offering hot and cold drinks and snacks, as well as dual-zone satellite TV with large screen in the main area. During first team games, there is also an external catering facility.

CLUB CONSTITUTION (PDF file)


Club History

Last updated July 2019 by Kevin O'Byrne

Hartley Wintney Football Club was founded in 1897. The club's nickname of 'The Row' comes from Hartley Row, a former hamlet within Hartley Wintney. In the late 1940s and into the 50s playing in the Basingstoke League, the club was successful despite having to play on a farm field with just a small wooden shed; this was Causeway Farm adjacent to the village's golf and cricket clubs. Amongst the villagers who ran the club was its outstanding secretary, Fred Cook, who did every job that needed doing. Fred Cook's hand written minutes of meetings covering seasons 1948 to 1964 were discovered after his death and make fascinating reading, including the change of the club colours from blue squares to tangerine in July 1956.

The club moved to its present ground in Green Lane - The Memorial Ground - in 1953. A pavilion was erected and the team continued to play in the Basingstoke League, and later in the Aldershot League.

In 1973, Glynn Howell was appointed Manager. In his six year reign, the team won the Aldershot Senior League three times in succession, and the Aldershot Senior Cup. After several seasons in the Aldershot Senior League, Hartley were admitted to the Combined Counties League, which replaced the Surrey Senior League.

After the first couple of seasons and two changes of management, the club appointed Ian Bedford as First Team Manager. Once again an influx of senior players brought Hartley success. During the 80's these included several notable ex-pros: Mick Travers (from 1980/81 to 1986/87; his other clubs included Reading, Portsmouth and Aldershot); Richard Walden (1985/86 & 1986/87; formerly with Aldershot, Sheffield Wed and Newport County); and Steve Finnieston (1985/86 to 1987/88; previously with Chelsea, Cardiff and Sheffield Utd).

Within Ian's three years in management, the team gained trophies including the League Title (1982-1983) and Runners Up (1981-1982), Aldershot Senior Cup Winners (1980-1981), and George Allen Cup Winners (1981-1982). They were also Runners Up in the League Cup (1982-1983) and Aldershot Senior Cup (1981-1982).

During this period a new Clubhouse was opened. David Willoughby, then Secretary and Treasurer, and Bill Mitchell, the then club Chairman and now President, devoted exceptional hours in the embryo stages of this venture.

In 2007-08 under manager Mike Scott, the club gained promotion to the Combined Counties League Premier Division, but 2008-09 ended in relegation by a narrow margin. Under manager and assistant Pete Gray and John Condon, the first team rallied, finishing 5th in CCL Div 1 in 2009-10. Coach Louis King then took the reigns as manager, guiding the team to 7th in CCL Div 1 in 2010-11.

A new management team of Neville Roach, assistant Mick Wollen and Coach Scott Tarr took charge for 2011-12 and it was a notable season with the club achieving promotion back to the Combined Counties League Premier Division. Hartley also had a fine FA Cup run to the Third Qualifying Round. But the euphoria of promotion was dampened even before the champagne bubbles had burst, when the coaching staff and almost the entire squad left en masse to join Thatcham Town.

Ex-Millwall defender, Dave Tuttle, was given the summer to prepare a new squad for 2012-13. However, a string of poor results led to a second change in management in less than 4 months, with 24 year-old ex-Basingstoke Town and Hartley striker, Ben Dillon, given his first managerial position. Once again there was an almost total outflow of players and Ben, with assistants Jason Minton and Joe Lawler, set about rebuilding the squad, but by this time with Hartley well and truly set adrift at the bottom of the table. Their enthusiasm, belief and the introduction of a talented group of players quickly restored the spirit around the club. In what became known as the season of the club's 'Great Escape', the Row's place in the CCL Premier was secured against all the odds after a truly remarkable second half of the season.

Steve Saunders and Dan Brownlie joined the existing coaching setup and the 2013-14 season started well. There were wins in the FA Cup to set up a home tie in the 4th Qualifying Round for the first time in the club's history, losing out to Daventry Town in front of a crowd of over 1,000. The club finished a creditable 7th in the CCL Premier Division.

A new club crest was commissioned, designed by Philippa Bell, incorporating several elements tracing the village back to the 13th century when known as Hertleye Wynteneye, meaning "the clearing in the forest where the deer graze by Winta's island", hence the tree and stag motifs.

2014-15 saw the club consolidate its place in the CCL Premier, finishing a comfortable 9th, after which Dillon stepped down and Dan Brownlie and Anthony Millerick were appointed as Joint First Team Managers, with Luke Tuffs coming in as First Team Coach while continuing as Youth Team Manager. It was a very eventful 2015-16. After a memorable FA Cup win away at Merthyr Town in the Second Qualifying Round, Hartley battled back from 2-0 down to 2-2 away at Conference South Eastbourne Borough, only to be beaten by a goal struck deep in injury time. In the FA Vase, The Row broke a longstanding club record by reaching the 5th Round Proper. In front of a sell-out 1,300 at Green Lane, eventual finalists Hereford proved too strong, but the Row went on to top the CCL Premier for most of the season and claimed the 2015-16 league title, finishing 10 points clear on 106 points. Promotion, however, was denied due to ground grading.

Faced with attempting to achieve back-to-back title wins and put in place the substantial ground improvements that would allow progression, the 2016-17 season under co-managers Dan Brownlie and Anthony Millerick, and coach Luke Tuffs, was extraordinary. Propelled by the goals of strike duo Sam Argent and Ross Cook, The Row topped the Combined Counties League Premier Division for the entire season, reached the semi-finals of the Hampshire County Cup and the final of the Aldershot Senior Cup, and secured the required ground grading to take their place in the Southern League at Step 4 for the first time. To top off a wonderful 2016-17, Luke Tuffs' Youth team won the Hampshire FA Youth Cup against a strong Aldershot Town U18.

The team took life at Step 4 in their stride and 2017-18 was to prove even more remarkable. The Row sat within the top four for much of the season, never dropping below 8th despite the loss of key players to other clubs. The management team responded with some astute signings. The Row embarked on their first FA Trophy campaign, which included wins against Gosport Borough and Farnborough before going out in the First Round Proper to eventual finalists, Bromley FC.

As the league campaign risked petering out, the signing of Nic Ciardini helped to keep the momentum going. Hugely important was also the strong central defensive partnership of Jack Ball and Liam Eagle. Incredibly, a play-off place was secured and the Row won the semi-final against AFC Dunstable 2-0. Cambridge City had triumphed at Hayes & Yeading FC in the other semi. In front of a crowd of over 700 at Green Lane, a tense game was decided by a single goal scored by Ciardini and The Row clinched promotion and made it to the Southern Premier at Step 3. The final season highlight was in lifting the Aldershot Senior Cup with a 4-1 win against Eversley & California FC.

Having negotiated the steep climb from Step 5 to Step 3 in just two seasons, it's fair to say the club was collectively still pinching itself as the first game kicked off in the Evo-Stik League South, Premier South, 2018-19 getting off to the best possible start with a 3-1 win away at Poole Town. Dan Turkington was now co-manager with Anthony Millerick, with Sam Rafique, Keith Benjamin and Mark Hurst joining Head Coach Luke Tuffs on the coaching side.

Come late September, Hartley even found themselves top for a week, but sustaining the early start proved difficult. After a spell of poor results, the club found itself briefly in the relegation zone, but more astute signings stiffened the defence and a superb late run saw Hartley finish 8th on 63 points, a hugely impressive achievement. To remain at the level also required another substantial round of ground grading improvements which stretched the club and its volunteers to the limits, but that too was achieved by the required deadline. The efforts on and off the pitch means Hartley Wintney can truly consider itself a Step 3 club as it prepares for its second season in the Southern League Premier Division.

For season 2019/20, Manager Anthony Millerick takes sole charge of team selection with Dan Turkington no longer in a position to assist in the capacity of joint manager. After his huge contribution over recent seasons, Head Coach Luke Tuffs departed at the end of 2018/19 to begin a managerial career. Neil Woodyer joins the coaching staff for 2019/20, the back room team completed with the introduction of Sports Therapist Mark Povey. Hartley Wintney Reserves begin a new season in the Suburban League under new manager, Sean Hayes, who captained the A Team in clinching the Aldershot & District Football League Senior Division championship last season.

MEMBER OF THE SOUTHERN LEAGUE
SUBURBAN FOOTBALL LEAGUE
ALDERSHOT & DISTRICT FOOTBALL LEAGUE
THE ALLIED COUNTIES YOUTH FOOTBALL LEAGUE
AFFILIATED TO THE HAMPSHIRE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION


Visiting Us

Hartley Wintney FC have their ground at The Memorial Fields, Green Lane, Hartley Wintney, Hants RG27 8DL. The club has covered standing and seating, with an area to accommodate wheelchairs. The pitch is fully floodlit and there is a well-equipped, licensed clubhouse offering hot and cold drinks and snacks on match days, as well as offering the facilities to host varied events including wedding receptions, birthday parties and social or business meetings. During first team games, there is also an external catering facility.

DIRECTIONS - refer also to the map here

FROM THE A30
On entering Hartley Wintney via the A30, take the turn at the mini roundabout signposted A323 Fleet. Take the 1st right turn, Green Lane, which has St John's Church on the corner. Continue down Green Lane for about 800 metres and turn right into the car park at the second entry slip road (the parking area operates a one-way system and the first slip road you'll pass is the exit). This car park has a shared access with Greenfields School.

FROM FLEET DIRECTION
Turn left at St John's Church if coming down the A323 from Fleet.

CONTACTING US
Please use the contact form wherever possible. During times when the Clubhouse is open, the club may be contacted by phone on 01252 843586.

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