Manager- Cliff Akurang
Key Player- Shamido Pedulu
Last season finish- 12th (Ryman North)
Who are they?
Heybridge Swifts FC was formed in 1880, but the club's first foray into senior football did not come until 1971 when they were founder members of the Essex Senior League. In between that time the club was almost put out of existence when they were evicted from their previous home at Bentall’s Sports Ground in 1964, as it was sold to be made into a shopping precinct. The club then became tenants of neighbours Sadd’s Athletic for two years, but they managed to acquire in time the former carrot field in Scraley Road, which became their new home. After finishing in second place in Essex Senior League at the end of the 1980–81 season the club claimed the league championship in the following three seasons, after which they were admitted to the Isthmian League, initially in Division Two North, which they won in the 1989–90 season.
In 1995–96 Swifts finished as runners-up in Isthmian League Division One and stepped up to the Premier Division, where they remained until relegation during the 2008–09 season. They finished second in the league in 2005–06 behind champions Braintree Town, missing out on promotion to the Conference South after a penalty shoot-out defeat to Fisher Athletic in the play-off final.
A poor 2008–09 season saw Heybridge Swifts relegated from the Isthmian League Premier Division to the Isthmian League Division One North. They have remained in Isthmian League Division One North ever since.
Heybridge Swifts Academy…
Since arriving as Manager in December 2014, Cliff and his team have been working hard to progress the Club to where they want to be and build a sustainable future, his first job was to steady the ship and escape a relegation battle which was achieved with a few results along the way against teams who ended up promoted.
A team of Under 16 boys will have the opportunity for a maximum of a three year scholarship, within that time they will be prepared for an exit into non -league football at the end of their respective courses.
Get up to much last season?
After an awful start of the season where they found themselves in a relegation battle but the turning point of the season came after a controversial 4-3 victory over Aveley. They followed that up with a 3-2 victory against Harlow Town. Over the next 3 months the Swifts only lost 4 matches and won an impressive 9 against tough opposition and drew with clubs like Brentwood Town and Wroxham. All this helped Heybridge Swifts get an impressive 62 points in the Ryman North.
Who is the main man?
Heybridge Swifts key player for the turn of form was Shamido Pedulu, he had to leave Aveley FC due to travel issues and because he lived close to Heybridge he transferred there. His form and attacking qualities made him quickly become a fans favourite at the club and has recently signed a new deal keeping him at the club for next season.
Manager Cliff Akurang said this about Pedulu ''Shammy is one of the best attacking players in the league and I am very much looking forward to working with him this season, he is a young player with outstanding ability and I'm sure the fans will be excited about seeing him in action for the team.”
He has experience of promotion with Witham Town in which he left last season to join the Millers, he brought that experience to the Swifts last season and scored 10 goals in the end for the club. Which he now looks to build upon with that form and could really score 20 plus goals this season, if he gets a full season at the football club. A player to really watch out for and one that Heybridge Swifts will be delighted to have captured for the up and coming season.
Shamido Pedulu (Signed On)
TJ Amass (Brightlingsea Regent)
Taylor Hastings (Enfield)
Harry Palmer (Maldon & Tiptree)
Sam Ashford (Signed On)
Brad James (Signed On)
Billy Hunt (Signed On)
Alberto Pinto (Maldon & Tiptree)
Alex Andrews (Maldon & Tiptree)
Harry Palmer (Maldon & Tiptree)
Tyler Hayes (Released)
George Cocklin (Released)
Danny Sambridge (Maldon & Tiptree)