Formerly one of the oldest Football clubs in England, Scarborough F.C. were founded in 1879 but were wound up eleven years ago, with debts of £2.5 million. However, a new era is fully underway in the bustling North Yorkshire seaside resort as the club continues its assault on the non-league ladder, with the collective aim of taking the club back to the Football League, where they spent over 15 years.
Following ten years of ground sharing at local rivals Bridlington Town since their reformation as Scarborough Athletic, the Seadogs moved home in 2017 after a decade of exile to the newly built Flamingo Land Stadium, a complex with a capacity of 2,070 and their return to the town saw them stage a fitting promotion season that sees them enter the Northern Premier League for the first time in their history. Now just one promotion away from the Vanarama National League North, the only way is up after three promotions have already seen them scale the regional divisions.
With an average attendance of 1,106 that went largely unrivaled last year, the potential for Steve Kittrick’s side, who saw a 201% increase in support last term, is endless as they aim to replicate the success of Scarborough’s now forgotten outfit, and the buzz has certainly returned to the town that is home to over 60,000 people.
Following in the footsteps of a side that played host to numerous household names during the 1990’s and early 2000’s both in the Football League at the now demolished McCain Stadium and in equally impressive FA Cup runs, including a narrow fourth-round defeat to Chelsea in 2004, Scarborough Athletic will go into the upcoming campaign brimming with confidence, with the view that successive promotions would not be unattainable, with a squad fully on board with the owner, Trevor Bull’s vision.
With sides such as Gainsborough Trinity and North Ferriby United, the high profile names set to hit the coast in a division that sees the Seadogs set to face seaside rivals Whitby Town in the highly anticipated ‘Fish and Chips’ Derby, the luck of returning home may work its magic once more, with the club already looking for an increased capacity to their ground ahead of its year anniversary.
One man who was born in the town and began his career at Scarborough is ex-Barnsley, Grimsby Town and York City player, Michael Coulson who is leading the line for his hometown, having turned down offers from elsewhere to return to where it all began and Coulson netted an impressive 33 times in his first season back with the Seadogs having departed Scottish Premiership side, St Johnstone.
For an outfit that was formed eleven years ago, just five days after the liquidation of the side that finished 20th in the 2006/07 Conference Premier season following an initial ten point deduction, a lot has been achieved at a special club that now holds promise for the future as opposed to uncertainty and disarray.
The Flamingo Land Stadium is a must visit for any non-league enthusiast who bids to escape the expense and over-commercialization of modern Football at a club run properly in a close-knit seaside setting full of passion and character. The players and fans are as one, so remember the name because Scarborough Athletic will undoubtedly be back where they belong.
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