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AN ENTERPRISING new football club is about to be launched in Laindon, with emphasis focused on the player’s enjoyment, development and progression.
FC Laindon Republic is the brainchild of Tumarie Palmer, who will be bringing a continental approach to the newly-formed Mid-Essex League outfit.
“I have spent time in the Netherlands at grassroots level with UVS Leiden as well as spells around the training grounds of professional Dutch sides,” he told Yellow Sport.
Tumarie will undertake several roles with the club, standing as Chairman, Manager and Owner: “Following my concerns at previous clubs, I chose to create my own,” he added.
“I think grassroots football in England has a real issue with player development, youth development, insufficient tactics and above all, politics.”
Tumarie insisted that FC Laindon Republic would offer local footballers a different path, adding: “Players just want to play and many people who run clubs seem to forget this. We are not a Sunday League team, we are not a team who are here to have a kickabout and a beer after. We have a project to develop players and coaches as human beings as well as footballers.
“The main thing you need to play here is the right mentality and attitude. Talent – however big – will not eclipse these qualities. The abuse referees suffer at games is a joke, as is how some players treat their own teammates and management. It is awful.”
The new outfit most certainly has ambition and is in a hurry to get there.
“We want to establish ourselves as a brand – one of the big Saturday sides in Basildon in terms of presence,” Tumarie boldly enthused.
“FC Laindon Republic is essentially an amateur side with professional values – a community club and we will be helping out in the community with volunteer projects.
“Many clubs have charter standard accreditation, but treat grassroots as a money game, leaving players unable to afford to play. Some teams are charging over £100 as a signing on fee and charging the players for training when they haven’t attended.
The Republic chief went on to explain his policy where players were concerned, adding: “We focus on the player’s attitude first, then the talent a player has. We will assess how they fair between three and twelve months with the club.
“We’ll write reports on individuals and figure out how and where they can improve. If a player finds an opportunity that suits them better, there will be no resistance from us – we will help find them a better club because it is about doing what’s best for the player and helping them reach the levels they hope to reach.
“We have a self-imposed twenty-five-man squad cap. Matchday squads will be a maximum of sixteen so competition will be rife. Players will be picked on merit.”
And Tumarie already has envisaged ahead of the forthcoming campaign:
“We are planning a second-team – not a reserve side – an under 23 development team,” he explained.
At a time when grassroots football is enduring a difficult time and clubs are falling by the wayside, it will be interesting to see how a new club with new values fair over the coming months.