Crawley Raiders was founded in the 1973/4 season by Mr Pat Drew. The name was taken from Crawley Ridge School that most of the original boys attended. The first team were Under 11?s managed by Gordon Foss in the Farnborough and District Youth League (now North East Hants Youth League).
The following season, two new teams were formed at U10 and U11 run by Roy Pritchard and David Leech. The U11 were soon taken on by Ron Gray (still General Manager) and won the first honours for the club winning the league and cup double in season 1975/6. The U12?s also won the league cup that season.
The club began to grow rapidly training boys from the age of 7 upwards. By the early 1980?s, the club had extended into the West Surrey Boys league and the Bracknell League and continued to have many successes. In 1981, the Under 16?s, managed by Ron Gray won the Hampshire County Cup and were runners up in the Surrey County Cup, a remarkable feat by a remarkable team and one that is unlikely to be repeated given the rapid development and expansion of youth football.
The 1990's was a period of tremendous growth and development for the Club. In 1992 the Club had 110 registered players and 8 teams. In 1995, the Under 18?s won the Hampshire County Floodlight Cup By the end of the 1990?s, this had grown to over 300 players and 20 teams. Today, we still maintain these numbers and are now looking to grow the club again.
We are now an FA Community status club and are looking to forge greater links to the local community through affiliations, sponsorship and closer ties with the local schools.
ANNUAL SIX A SIDE EVENT
The first annual six a side tournament, held in June 1992, was a joint affair with Camberley Boys, and raised £823 for the Club. The following year the Club organised its own event. The event went from strength to strength, with 200 teams attending by 1996, and becoming one of the largest and most popular events in the area. In recent years, it has contributed a surplus of over £5,000 each year towards the Club?s finances. The event is held in June every year at Watchetts School and apart from the income generated, it gives an opportunity for all those involved with the Club to come together and support the Club as a whole.
AFFILIATION WITH CAMBERLEY TOWN F.C.
In 1992, the Club (named Crawley Camberley F.C. at the time) entered negotiations with Camberley Town F.C. with a view to affiliation with the Senior Club in the area and providing a progression for our youth players as they approached adulthood. Agreement was reached for the start of the 1993/94 season, which saw 2 youth teams run by the Senior Team join us and increase the number of 11 a side teams to 10.
ALLIED COUNTIES UNDER 18 SQUAD
One of the big pluses of affiliation has been the ability to run a mid week Under 18 Squad in the Allied Counties League for the last decade. This provides a high standard of football for those older youth players who are both talented and interested. Home games are played under floodlight at Krooner Park, with the Senior Club making its facilities available for no charge. In 1995, the Allied Counties Squad won the Under 18 Hampshire Floodlit Cup, under the management of Simon Reed and Ron Gray, beating Aldershot Town in the final.
NURSERY SECTION & SMALL SIDED FOOTBALL
At around the same time as forming links with Camberley Town F.C., the Club became one of the first in the area to promote small sided football for the younger players. An under 8 and an under 9 team entered the East Berks 7 a side Association in the 1993/94 season and a vibrant nursery section developed from thereon.