The new football club 'making waves' in Norfolk
- Credit: North Elmham Football Club
Starting a grassroots football club during a global pandemic doesn't seem like the best idea.
But for one newly founded team, coronavirus worked to their advantage in some ways.
Chris Reeve, a 25-year-old PE teacher from North Elmham started a grassroots football club in the village where he lives in August, after the country had just come out of a strict national lockdown.
Fast forward four months and the club has four teams training and playing regularly and even its first set of sponsors, The Kings Head Hotel and Habify windows in Wymondham.
Mr Reeve said: "In lockdown, I was approached by the council as I was doing football sessions with kids anyway and it grew from there.
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"During the first session we had a big group of 21 kids training in the youth team and six for the men's team. Just six weeks later we had 23 men turn up, which was a brilliant turn out.
"Since then we have been going from strength to strength and we now have an under six, under-eights, under 10's and a men's team training and playing games most weeks."
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Despite starting the club in the middle of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the 25-year-old believes that despite some setbacks the virus has helped the team communicate and play better than they would have otherwise.
He said: "We have had some setbacks such as being unable to open a bank account, meaning that if we want to apply for funding we are unable to receive it.
"In a weird way, I think the pandemic has helped us come together and really gel as a team. Already we are a close-knit group and we play some really good football together - I think the pandemic has really helped us with that."
Despite not yet being in a league, the men's team have played friendlies against FC Viking Reserves, Bacton FC and Yaxham Reserves.
Mr Reeve said: "We have won some and lost some, but the boys were so proud to beat a team four leagues above the one we're going into.
"We were also happy to have around 50 people watching the match - for only starting four months ago we must be doing something right."
North Elmham FC's men's team plan on joining the Central and South Norfolk League in 2021.
To find out more follow the club's Facebook page.