AFC Oakley Football Club

Interview with Gary Chance

What is your footballing history?
Youth football at county representative level, In senior football majority of my time playing for teams in United Counties Premier league or Spartan South Midlands . Teams played for include Kempston Rovers, Wootton Blue Cross, Potton United, Ampthill Town, Cogenhoe United, Bedford.

In my late thirties started to play local for St Cuths, Elstow & then finally Oakley. I’ve gone on to complete FA coaching badges up to UEFA B & presently I’m assistant manager at Newport Pagnell Town 1st team.

What is your Oaks story?
I was coming to the end of my playing days & I could see Oakley had great potential but lacked structure & didn’t have any identity other than lads just turning up & playing . So I decided that if I was going continue being involved I might as well take charge & start to build something.

Brought in good local players who wanted to win & we created a great social side connected to the club, they are the reasons you play & you need both to be successful . Winning the Britannia Cup in that 1st season was really important as showed everyone what could be achieved, 2nd season we pushed on again improving retaining the Britannia Cup & finishing runners up in the league to a very good Caldecote team. Most importantly that 2nd season I got my best mate & Oakley legend Sammy Worker involved & the rest as they say is Oaks history.

Why do you think you had so much success?
Simple, good players with good attitude that understood what we wanted to achieve . Created a proper club environment which wasn’t in place before.

What is your prediction for Oaks this year?
Confident that Oaks will continue to be competitive & one of the favourites to win things at local level.

What are your three non-negotiables in a player?
Commitment, respect for teammates, ability

What makes Oaks great?
The Facilities for local level & the people involved.

Your top three Oaks players of all time?
Wow… really tough as had some very good players that have played in some seasons… but for their contribution/ability on the pitch & longevity to Oaks the 3 standouts are DK (Dan Kelly) best signing, Smudge (Mark Smith) ledge of a player/person & Robbie Alder… the Warrior

Will Liverpool win the Premier League this year?

What do you need to be a successful manager or coach?
At any level of football you need to be a good communicator as a coach or manager, always be straight & honest with players be brave & consistent in your decisions.