Our journey started in 2014…

Our Chairman, Vince Alfieri used to watch his 5-year-old son play football for his local football team.  Having had a footballing career himself, that saw him captain Sussex Schools for 3 years and progress through the Crystal Palace FC Youth system at the then Imperial Sports Centre in Mitcham (where Tooting and Mitcham FC now play) Vince was asked by the manager of the local team, Jason Hopper,  to help him out and become a coach of the U7 team being formed in the next season to which Vince agreed.  During the seasons that followed of being an U7 and U8 coach, Vince recognised that there were many opportunities to do more for the Youth Football development in Mid-Sussex.  After approaching the local club where his son played with a proposal to get more players into the sport and develop them into Burgess Hill Town FC, Vince and Jason were left frustrated that the local club were unwilling to try and do this, a number of issues had arisen from not being able to train to a lack of equipment and investment in the young players.  At this point, Vince felt there was no option but to leave and start another Football Club but had no idea how to do this!  Darren Kelly was a parent whose child played in Vince and Jason’s U8 football team at the time.  Darren demonstrated how to form a Football Club and after getting Jason on board with the idea the decision was made.  (Jason’s son got picked to go and play in the Brighton and Hove Albion professional U9 Academy so Jason stepped away from the Club Management, however Jason remains an integral part of the club today as he is our Goalkeeper coach!)

In 2016 Athletico Burgess Hill FC was formed.  Vince and Darren were supported in setting up the new club by Sarah Barron.  Sarah was able to influence the FA and leagues in setting up the new club within 6 weeks.. just in time for a tournament! The name “Athletico Burgess Hill FC” was chosen, firstly it was a “disruptive” name and very much had the spirit of being something new and different.  It also had the name of the town in it which was something Vince was very keen to fly the flag for.  Darren designed the Club badge, using Athletico Madrid colours, 3 stars at the top represented the 3 teams the Club began with and includes the West Sussex County Crest. The Club was born with 24 players, 7 coaches and 6 committee members.  What followed was 2 years of amazing success, leagues, tournaments, European tours, camping trips enabled the Club to grow to 84 players in only its second season!

The Club would like to thank everyone who contributed to Athletico Burgess Hill FC, the players and parents especially for having the trust and faith in us that we could do it. However, the real goal the Club had was to one day become integrated with Burgess Hill Town FC, that is where our Story continues…

The Next Chapter… 2018 / 2020

Having previously met with Burgess Hill Town FC when trying to convince his local club to change, Vince went back to BHTFC with a vision and proposal now that he was Head of Athletico Burgess Hill FC.  This time Vince was able to secure the decision that Athletico Burgess Hill would become the Junior section of BHTFC.  Still being run as an independent section within BHTFC was a key element.  Together with Darren, Vince informed all the Athletico Burgess Hill FC members and Burgess Hill Town Juniors began in the Summer of 2018. Burgess Hill Town Juniors FC began with 125 players across 6 age groups.  Quickly putting in place the Club Purpose, Mission, Development Framework and Pathway into senior football, BHTFCJ were able to grow significantly in the following season and currently has teams at all age groups and over 350 players.  Darren as Football and Welfare Director and Vince as the Club Chairman make up the Board of the Juniors.  Vince also is a Board Director of the Senior Club to ensure the bridge from the Juniors to the Seniors is a seamless one.  The Club now has 10 Committee members and 45+ Coaches. As well as the football side, the Juniors Club also has partnered with a Mental Health Agency, Youth Fitness Trainer and has invested in its very own FA Mentor.  All these elements are supporting Youth players to develop both on and off the pitch.

The Journey Continues… 2020 & Beyond!

Burgess Hill Town Juniors FC are continuing to grow and are firmly part of the plans to develop a new stadium / Academy complex for Burgess Hill Town FC.  The Juniors have also now opened a Futsal section and will receive their Chartered Standard Community accreditation soon. The Club has partnered with Burgess Hill Academy School where training and home matches take place.  Please look around our website to get the full picture of what we offer young players, our aims and the work we do in the Community of Burgess Hill and Mid Sussex. We are proud to announce we have added a girls section, aged 4-18yrs, to our Club. We now have over 180 girls registered to play for us in the SCWGFL leagues.

We were delighted to be awarded the Grassroots Club Of The Year – 2021/22 & 2023/24