Firstly, we hope that you’re staying healthy and like us, you’re already looking forward to next season. 

Today we’re really proud to announce another merger, this time with Forest Glade FC, one of the biggest youth football clubs in the South East of England.  This means that for the first time the club is able to offer a football pathway all the way from youth to senior football, for both boys and girls. 

Forest Glade FC

As we mentioned when we announced the merger with AFC Basildon the other week, we’ve always planned to bring women’s and youth football into the club in some way, and we’re all really excited about the future, once we’re allowed to kick a ball again.  We’re also very proud to be linking up with another great local football name; Forest Glade FC was formed in 1992 and current president Derrick Pearson has seen them grow from 9 players back then to over 400 in 2020!  They now run 40 teams including 8 for girls, and offer football from age 3 right up to adult male football, with girls’ football up to U14.  They’ve won numerous league and cup competitions over the years, but as should always be the case with youth football, they pride themselves on helping players grow whilst enjoying the game.  They’ve seen players join professional clubs and are proud to be an FA Charter Standard Community Club.

Forest Glade FC

The three-way merger will mean that representatives of both AFC Basildon and Forest Glade FC will sit on a newly-restructured Hashtag United FC committee to oversee the running of the club.

Spencer had this to say about the merger with Forest Glade FC:

I’m thrilled that we’ve been able to bring Forest Glade into the club.I’ve enjoyed getting to know the guys there and see first hand the great work they’ve done in the community.To have such a well-run youth operation as part of our ever-growing young club is a huge step forward.I’ve been well aware how much our younger fans have wanted us to have a youth set up from day one.This merger allows hundreds of boys and girls to represent Hashtag United from next season and of course we have more plans for the future and how we can expand too.After meeting with the Forest Glade committee I was delighted that they decided to team up with us and I’m incredibly excited to see what we can achieve.I’m looking forward to a future in which we can produce our own “home-grown players” and offer more opportunities to youngsters in our local community.Our first team have already trained at the Forest Glade facility and we look forward to using it more across the club.Being based just outside Billericay, it’s very close to our new first team home ground and also the origins of our new Women’s set up in Basildon.These moves are growing the club exponentially whilst also giving us a genuine point on the map in Essex to base our future around.

And Devs added:

I have had the pleasure of seeing how well run Forest Glade is, as a parent having had both of my children play for the club.The lengthy discussions that have taken place over the past year or so have only further strengthened my view that we share the same values and principles when it comes to offering development and opportunity for young people.Together we look forward to helping develop, not just footballers but also successful, confident members of our club.The fact that we are creating a pathway that gives the potential to see a young boy or girl progress from his or her first steps in mini soccer to the first team of Hashtag United is very exciting and I cannot wait for the day that one of our home-grown players steps on to the pitch as a first team player.

Derrick Pearson, Forest Glade FC president, said:

This merger provides Forest Glade and its members a unique opportunity to part of a club that has the ambition to be one of the most professional football clubs in Essex.

Under the merger, some of Forest Glade’s teams will play as Hashtag United from this coming season, whilst mini-soccer teams will operate as Hashtag Forest Glade.  They’ll all continue to be based from their excellent 30-acre facility just outside Billericay, Essex, which will be expanding to allow more Hashtag teams to play in future. 

Because we already have existing Forest Glade teams in place, the need for trials and playing opportunities will be determined by the needs of each individual team coach/manager.  Subsequently there are no plans to hold open trials, but keep your eyes on our socials for information should that ever change.

Forest Glade’s website can be found here: https://www.forestgladefc.co.uk

Anyone wanting to contact us regarding the merger or youth sides can email us at enquiries@hashtagunited.co.uk – please be advised that due to expected demand, we may not be able to reply to every email we get.


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