Bridge Juniors FC

About The Club


We are a Bamford based local football club in Rochdale Borough offering Football to youngsters from 4 yrs of age all the way through to open age.

We have achieved FA Charter Standard (at Development level) – which is the Football Association kitemark recognising a clubs commitment to excellence, where its Safeguarding, Child Protection, 1st Aid, Welfare, Qualification base for its Coaches, Finance and its infrastructure and range of activity in all aspects of its football delivery such as male/female and disability provision (all of which we offer) are checked to the highest level.

If a club secures this FA recognition, which ours has, it signifies that we have satisfied the FA that we operate to their highest level.

So, as a Club we have scope to accommodate teams at 14 different Age groups – Under 5’s up to Under 18s.

All our development as a club is supported with qualified coaches and Club officials, all suitably certificated to the appropriate level for the roles they undertake on the clubs behalf.

We have now expanded to have 27 squads across these age groups.

This encapsulates the following;

Under 5’s and 6’s Infant Academy x 1

Under 7s teams x 2

Under 8s teams x 2

Under 9s teams x 2

Under 10s teams x 2

Under 11s teams x 2

Under 11s training squad Girls x 1

Under 12s teams x 3

Under 13s teams x 2

Under 13s team Girls x 1

Under 14s team x 1

Under 15s teams x 2

Under 16s teams x 2

Bridgeability (Disability) x 4

Development Plan for Juniors – Under Under 5’s to Under 7’s each year

Each season sees an influx at the very youngest ages of new Players, Parents, Volunteers and Managers from players at 4yrs of age, and we establish a NEW academy group each year (for 4 and 5 year olds), and we take our Under 6s group into Under 7s participation in their 1st recognised structured football environment. This allows us to constantly be sustaining the club as all the existing youngsters move up year on year whilst with us.

We also constantly replenish squads (where necessary) where places become available because of natural wastage across our established squads.

Club Development

Male 17+ development

Our aim is to hopefully establish teams at Under 19s or Open Age squads next season (16/17) from our current Under 18s squads moving into the next phase of their development for season 16/17.

Disability – Bridgeability – 9-18 yr olds

This group is called Bridgeability, which trains weekly at Soccer Factory in Castleton, Rochdale and is completely free of charge for participants, and is coached by qualified coaches supported by the Club.

This session, run by Bridge JFC, is in partnership with Link4life, and local schools and supports special needs pupils, and Bridgeability is the only group at a community club level that offers access and inclusion to football, whatever the nature of the disability, in the Borough.

This Group encapsulates players at a range of ages as shown, and has direct links with Secondary schools and Hopwood Hall College in Middleton, the aim in the link with both Hopwood Hall and Rochdale 6th form Colleges is to take the post 6th Form and post 18 participants (when they reach school year 14) into senior football.

This youngest group from 10 yrs of age to Under 18s is our pathway of entry into Football. We have entered the 10-16 yr olds  into the Lancashire FA Ability Counts League (Disability focused) where participation is on Saturdays, taking place once a month from Autumn 2015 onwards and is a well established session at which we take youngsters to enjoy football in a traditional environment in Chorley every month.

We also aim to join Manchester FA Ability Counts League from this Autumn 2017 which is on Friday evenings, and is an exact copy of thre Saturday sessions above, except that different teams attend.

We take our group to both leagues as we are equidistant between Chorley and Salford, so can get to both venues easily.

Women and Girls

We also now have 2 Girls squads, an Under 11s development squad and an  an Under 13s Girls team in the North Manchester Girls league managed by Leigh Ann Carnall, an FA Qualified and CRB/DBS approved/accredited coach. The aim is to continue to invite girls at all ages to join our structured development coaching sessions to assist in establishing pathways for all to follow in enjoying a structured access to football.

Our Reputation

We are seen as one of the best organised, attractive and structured Junior Football Clubs by many in the football community. This it is actually what others say about us. It is from a plethora of professional Clubs, County FA’s, Local Authority organisations including Link4Life (the sports development team in Rochdale with whom the club works most closely), Sporting bodies inside and outside football, Sports funding agencies such as the Football Foundation and RBC’s own community grants teams, local leagues and local opponents who we meet on a week by week basis. More importantly it is what parents say about us being a Family centred club, with the children and enjoyment at the centre of all we do, it is not just the result of the match we are playing in that is important, and it is why more and more parents want their child to play for us. It is also why we are recognised in our local community.

We offer support to all, and are very keen to provide what we see as a developmental pathway for youngsters to grow as individuals. So we try to protect them from harm or inappropriate advances, help them if they are having a difficult time in their lives such as close family bereavement or parental break up, we also always in our duty of care watch out for any signs of neglect or abuse and work with our specialist welfare officer if we have any concerns raised (thankfully this is very rare) but is part of our support network, we also endeavour to make sure no form of harassment or bullying is allowed to go unchallenged (especially if in cyber/social media – and is why as a club we do not have Facebook or Twitter sites),

We support, mentor and upskill them with the lifeskills they will need to move on in life as they become young adults making serious choices about where they plan to go next – at whatever level academically or practically that may be appropriate for them. .

As a result of all this positive work we undertake we have been lucky enough to have been awarded the much coveted Rochdale ‘Club of the Year’ title having had this awarded to us in direct competition with every other SPORTS club (not just football clubs) of which there are over 250, in both 2007 AND 2010 as well as winning the Coach and Volunteer of the Years awards from the Borough as recently as last year.

Our Player base of approximately 350+ is attracted predominantly from Rochdale, Heywood and Middleton with a small number from other local areas.

We have our own Site at Top O’ th’ Lane, Bamford, Rochdale, (Behind the Grapes Pub on Norden Rd and next to Fieldhouse Cricket Club and Rochdale Tennis Club). It is on 25 year lease, with just under 19 yeqars remaining, on a self-management contract with RBC.

We have access to 10 Pitches, a 16 Changing Room pavillion, our own Tea Bar and extensive Car Parking on a sole usage agreement.

We are recognised by Sport England (previously The Sports Council) with 3 consecutive awards under the Volunteer Investment Programme.

Our teams are in;

  • The North Bury League
  • The Bolton and Bury League
  • The Tameside League
  • The North Manchester Girls League
  • The Lancashire FA Ability Counts League
  • The Manchester FA Ability Counts League (from Summer 2017)

Every team has qualified volunteers (over 100 already hold certificates) with all Managers/Assistants and Club Officials either holding or working towards Qualifications in;

  • Football Association Level 1 Coaching
  •  First Aid
  • Safeguarding and Protecting Children and Vulnerable Adults
  • DBS/CRB clearance certificates

A number of these coaches also hold:

  •  Football Association Level 2 qualifications
  • Referee Badges
  • Football Association Goalkeeping Coaching Badges
  • Football Association Age Appropriate Coaching Badges
  • Some are also working towards, or have, their Uefa B Coaching Badges.

So you can see that there is a wealth of experience and expertise available

We also have access to FA Skills and Mentor Coaches, provided to us via the FA because of our Charter Status, for us to utilise to assist in continually helping our coaches develop and grow their own skills by receiving advice and guidance and all the new coaching initiatives that the FA encourage clubs to embrace.

  • All our active volunteers have to undergo background checks to reassure parents that all our volunteers are above doubt and have in place the appropriate CRB/DBS checks.

All our Winter Training, either Floodlit or Indoor, is provided by Club at various sites around the Rochdale area is paid for by the Club.

We have a direct partnership agreement with Bolton Wanderers Junior Academy set up, allowing exit routes into Pro Coaching and Football at Professional level for all our players into their respective age group squads.

We have direct links with numerous schools in the Borough of Rochdale.

Our aim is to provide the best access to football that we can, in an enjoyable, supportive, qualified and safe environment and ensure that the players under our care ENJOY, first and foremost their time with us.

We pride ourselves on setting good standards of behaviour, of encouraging and not criticising, of remembering that children do not make mistakes on purpose, and of supporting not criticising their efforts when on the field of play.

We see the challenge of behaviour off the pitch as the most important one, and if we get that right – which we believe we do – then all the other positives come through as a result of setting the right example.

It is quite clear that it is how Adults behave off the pitch that affects how youngsters feel and behave on it.

We aim to stop passion overtaking self control and turning into aggression or bullying from the sideline.

Our job is to make sure we lead by example, are good role models and provide the right atmosphere and environment for our own, and others, children to grow into enjoying the game we all passionately support.

Barry Woodburn
Top of the Lane, Off Norden Rd, Bamford, Rochdale OL11 5PW
Age range:
Specific wellbeing / mental health support,Encouraging a positive attitude towards wellbeing,Mentoring,Encouraging positive attitude towards physical health,Encouraging self-care skills,Encouraging confidence through developing new skills,Supporting and developing self-esteem,Increasing social interaction,Widening social networks,Encouraging and supporting team work,Encouraging and supporting leadership,Encouraging peer support