Over the weekend, the lads from the Big Kick Off Football Show YouTube channel were joined by former professional footballer and manager, Chris Turner.
The football show OG’s Roy, Dave and Neal had a lengthy in-depth discussion with Chris.
With topics ranging from current news in the footballing world, Chris’s playing days with the likes of Manchester United & Sunderland. Along, with dissecting the current state of his beloved Sheffield Wednesday, a club he managed for two years, from 2002 until 2004.
We’d highly recommend checking out that chat on our YouTube channel if you haven’t already. Chris’s insight on current goings-on, and his career is truly fascinating.
Away from that, one topic that was prevalent throughout the entire show, was Chris’s involvement with Wakefield AFC.
Chris is the current Chairman and Director of Football at the amateur Yorkshire side.
Wakefield AFC were formed in 2019, by a consortium of businessmen, including Chris and current owner, Mike Hegarty.
They’re currently playing in the semi-professional ranks of the Sheffield and Hallamshire County Senior Football League Premier Division. In the 11th tier of the English football pyramid.
While Wakefield is only in their infancy, they’ve shown real professionalism in their inaugural operational year.
They swiftly became an accredited FA Charter Standard Adult Club. Plus, successfully developed their own Academy structure, and Elite Football Programme.
This is all to secure the long-term viability of the club. Producing their own in-house local talent from their academy, and taking in young players that have been cast aside from youth academies at the elite English clubs, while further educating themselves.
First Of Its Kind
For a city as big as Wakefield, it’s crazy to think they haven’t got a professional football team to represent them.
Of course, it’s a city famous for their rugby league exploits. But Chris Turner believes the people of Wakefield are longing for a professional football team to get behind.
Understandably, Chris has his feet firmly planted on the ground. He knows the slow process that comes with rising through the football pyramid.
He talked about the club as a ten-year plan. While eyeing up the National League North as a realistic prospect in that time frame.
The dizzying heights of professional football is being projected for the early 2030’s. With the aim of earning entry into the English Football League.
Listening to Chris, you also get a real sense of passion for helping the Wakefield community during these exciting times too.
The club is putting a real emphasis on linking up with the communities and charities within the Wakefield District.
Their genuine commitment to helping the local community and nurturing young players through the ranks of their club, really makes them stand out in the saturated market of Yorkshire football.
The foundations are coming together for Wakefield AFC.
Their fantastic academy system propped up by the vastly experienced, Shane Pallett, and reliance on producing homegrown talent going forward, makes long-term feasibility a non-issue if all goes to plan.
Wakefield currently plays in Millennium Stadium. But seem destined to play their home games in the revamped community stadium in the city of Wakefield when possible.
We always encourage supporters to follow local football in their area. It’s hard to deny the real sense of ambition surrounding Wakefield AFC, even during these early stages of their lifespan.
The financial backing, academy structure and ever-improving facilities mean this club is certainly one to keep your eye on over time.
It’s safe to say the city of Wakefield have waited long enough for their very own professional football team. With further aid from partners and shareholders, there’s no reason why the enthusiasm of people like Chris Turner can’t provide that with this club.
All the best guys. Everyone at the Big Kick Off will be rooting for you all the way to the English Football League, and beyond.