Stone Hammers United put the finishing touches to their season when they beat Stafford Soccer School Hawks on 4th May at Rowley Park. It was their final competitive match in what has proved to be a momentous 2012/13 campaign.
After 21 games this season the team had a record of Played 21, Won 21, scoring 147 and letting in only 10 goals in the process!
With a 100% record in the league, the mathematicians were no longer required, when on Sunday 21st April the team beat Milford Athletic to seal the title with one game to spare.
Then the following week the talented Walton Priory Middle School based side took on Milford once more in the Under 12 cup final. Stone Hammers United ran out victors on the day, completing a memorable league and cup double in the process.
Formed in 2008, Stone Hammers FC has come a long way from being also-rans to the pre-eminent side in the under 12 section of the Mid Staffs Junior League a mere 5 years later. Managed by Michael Barker & Ade Cuthbert, and filled with a bed rock of local boys, steady progress has been achieved year on year, with the 2012/13 season the icing on the cake.
Barker commented “These lads are a credit to their club and the town. We work them hard, but they enjoy it and keep coming back for more! The fruit of their labours is the success they have just attained. And best of all they do it playing an attractive passing game, playing football the right way! I am so proud of how far they have come.”
The squad of 12 players includes arguably the best keeper technically in the league, shot stopper supreme, goalkeeper Sam Butters. Sam has been admirably protected by tough defenders Joe Phillips & Luke Cooper who have headed and tackled anything that moved and become the springboard for the side’s passing play. The speedy Ben Brooks provided the pace at the back, his trademark buccaneering runs turning defence into attack were a feature of every match. Ben Shearing is Stone Hammers United’s very own Mr Versatile, having played with assurance in every single position, including goalkeeper, during the season. On the left flank is corner specialist Cole Slater, whilst on the right there is the jinking Connor Smith, both wingers in the old style that have provided a regular supply of crosses for goals all season. In the middle of the park the two midfield generals are Jacob Searson and Max Cuthbert. They are the heartbeat of the side and provide both the tackling steel and passing finesse from the engine room. Up front Stone Hammers United are blessed with 3 strikers who have plundered goals all season long. The tireless Ben Rogerson provides the muscle and aerial presence, whilst Harvie Barker gives the artistry and silky skills to the forward line. Blessed with superb balance, top scorer Arron Bourne is the spearhead, with the keenest eye for goal.
Next season they move on to the Potteries Junior Youth league for a new challenge, but one things for sure, the taste of silverware is now very much to their liking!