Ashville players looking to help kids play football

Mon 17th April 2023 | Ashville
By Gary Langley

Division One South Ashville FC players Mikey Dixon and Nathan Haynes are not just creative on the pitch, off it they also run an Internet based Social Enterprise, Born Again Boots which is designed to sell new and used football boots on to people who have a keen eye for the classic and more modern football footwear. 

However, with the Summer on the way and lots of kids likely to get involved in summer football, they are looking to assist kids across Merseyside and Cheshire who aren't fortunate enough to have a stable pair of football boots.  They plan for the next two months to collect any unused football boots and redistribute them to kids through Football teams, Community Groups and Schools so that they can play football using appropriate and safe footwear.

Speaking to the NWCFL Website this week, Nathan & Mikey whom are both experienced NWCFL players, counting Congleton, Vauxhall Motors and Cammell Lairds as their previous clubs explained to us why they are doing this and what the aims are...

NH "We set up a small page on Social Media initially to buy and sell boots amongst players in our social circle and a bit wider to ensure that a good pair of boots wouldn't go to waste.  We know a few pro players between us as well and they have quite a turnover of boots and there's a bit of an enterprise there as people look for certain types of boots that they may prefer or aspire to at a pre-worn rate.  It does ok and it makes boots almost socially sustainable as they are getting used properly."

MD "I was driving home from Angelsey one weekend and the idea came to me that a number of kids will be preparing to come out and play in summer leagues and the likes soon and not everyone can stretch to a pair of boots, especially the way things are at the moment with little or no room for leisure items in many households.  If we can provide some boots to the community, kids groups or just individuals who would benefit from a free pair of boots then we can get kids back into the game and give them that opportunity to play.  We already have a network set up to move boots around and a contacts network about to source boots that would benefit someone else if they are not being worn by their first owner so it made sense to try and run this alongside our existing operation."

NH "We've even had a teacher come up to us when we first started getting this initiative set up, they explained to us that they were aware of a child who wouldn't do PE in school as they wouldn't play football in their pumps as they were worried about stick from their friends. We have had a good response so far for unused kids football boots and we are hoping to distribute these through our Social Media sites, schools and Community Groups soon.  We would encourage anyone who has a pair of boots to offer, or is looking to source a pair of boots for their child in the Merseyside and Cheshire Areas to look us up and we will see what we can do.  We want someone who would benefit from this, who perhaps does not have the means at the moment to buy their child a pair of boots to get in touch."

The Social Media Channels for Born again Boots are at the bottom of this article.

We could not speak to the gents without asking them about their season at Ashville.  Mikey is the Goalkeeper at the club and Nathan an outfield player and both have been two of the more experienced heads at the club in their first season in the National League System.  Mikey explained how there was some quiet optimism around the club prior to the season starting.  

MD "I came in at the start of the season but the club were preparing well. There was a setup of around half the players having previous NW Counties League experience and half of the lads had mainly West Cheshire League experience.  That said, at the start of the season the group was integrating well and the lads with Counties experience were preparing the lads without for the type of football that was to come.  We had a couple of major medical issues through the season and some speed bumps in the road, but our initial target was to find our feet and see where we were at after 4-5 games.  Winning our first game at this level 4-0 was encouraging and the season was going ok but we had a change of manager as well as one of our team-mates having the Cardiac Arrest and that really shook us up a bit and it took us a while to get our heads back on to the task in hand after that."

"Gary Jones came in towards the last third of the season and has really made a difference, obviously an experienced ex-pro player and he has brought different ideas and got us over the finish line for the season with real impetus, we have gone from strength to strength."

NH "The incident with the Cardiac arrest brought us together as a group of friends and we are a close unit at the club on the pitch and the volunteers at the club.  We have been playing some good football and getting some good results but from what we have seen this season, if we can get a few players in to strengthen us in the squad then there's no reason not to start next season looking to push on."

A big thank you to Mikey Dixon and Nathan Haynes for their time and we wish you well for the Born Again Boots Campaign.  To Contact Mikey or Nathan please contact them direct through their Social Media links.

TWITTER - @Nath_Haynes @Mikeydixon32

FACEBOOK - Born Again Boots





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