About Us

Player Development at Bridge

17+ Development

Mainstream squads (post U16s year olds)

This season has seen us develop mainstream teams at both U17s and U18s

Adults Disability – Open Age (post U16 year olds)

BridgeAbility Counts teams are in place for 20+ participants (Disability) and our aim is to maintain this aspect of the clubs growth. We have already established this in partnership with Hopwood Hall Middleton, for our post 16 BridgeAbility (Disability) programme, where we are delivering our own, AND the Colleges Disability opportunities for students and who take part in the LFA ‘Ability Counts’ league.

Junior Disability – BridgeAbility – 9–16 year olds

We have an Academy group for 9-16yrs olds, supporting Disability inclusion into Football for 20+ participants across a range of ages on a regular basis, which we have established and who regularly play in the LFA recognised participation programme called ‘Ability Counts’

These groups are called BridgeAbility, which trains weekly and plays in the monthly Lancashire County FA Ability Counts league and the club offers kit, travel and training, and is coached by qualified coaches supported by the Club. These sessions, run by Bridge JFC, is in partnership with Hopwood Hall College (Middleton Campus), and it supports special needs pupils, and BridgeAbility is recognised as a centre of excellence delivering access and inclusion to football, whatever the nature of the disability, in the Borough.

Girls – Wildcats – From 4 to 14 years of age

We also now have a full range of 5 different Girls teams at various ages plus a range of Wildcat girls across those ages where we don’t as yet have established squads/teams, with all the set teams playing in the Bolton and Bury JFL.

All these teams are managed by FA qualified and DBS checked coaches. The aim is to continue to invite girls at all ages to join our structured development coaching sessions to assist in establishing a route for all to follow in enjoying an organised pathway to Girls football.

Under 7s to Under 16s – Mixed teams

At all these ages we have a mix of teams, and players, across the ability spectrum, and our role is simply to provide an environment where they can be as good as ‘they’ can be, where they can enjoy and grow, and if some make it into the professional game at any level then that is a bonus. All teams play in the local football league.

Under 7s Development

Each season sees an influx at the very youngest ages of new Players, Parents, Volunteers and Managers from players at 4yrs of age, and we establish a NEW academy group each year (for Under 5 and 6 year olds), and we take our Under 6s group into Under 7s participation in their 1st recognised structured football environment.

This allows us to constantly be sustaining the club, as all the existing youngsters move up year on year whilst with us.

We also constantly replenish squads (where necessary) where places become available because of natural wastage across our established squads.


Our Reputation

We are seen as one of the best organised, attractive and structured Junior Football Clubs by many in the football community, with excellent value for money at our core.

This is actually what others say about us.

It is from a plethora of Professional Clubs, County FA’s, Local Authority organisations, Sporting bodies inside and outside football, Local Leagues and Local Opponents and our community neighbours who we meet on a week by week basis.

More importantly it is what their parents say about us being a Family centred club, with the participants placing (predominantly children), and their enjoyment, at the centre of all we do, it is not just the result of the match we are playing in that is important, and it is why more and more parents want their child to play for us.

It is also why we are recognised in our local community.

At our heart is our Family Club image which we are extremely proud of.

Our Player base of approximately 400+ is attracted predominantly from Rochdale, Heywood and Middleton.

Our Home at Bamford – Exciting Development proposals under discussion

We have our own Site at Top O’ th’ Lane, Bamford, Rochdale, (Behind the Grapes Pub on Norden Rd and next to Fieldhouse Cricket Club and Rochdale Tennis Club). It is on 25 year lease (15 years remaining) on a self-management contract with RMBC.

We have access to 13 Pitches, 16 Changing Rooms, our own Tea Bar and extensive Car Parking on a sole usage agreement.

It is also an extremely exciting time at the club as we are close to securing investment in both upgrading all the playing areas as well as a NEW 2 floor purpose built Community Pavilion/Hub which will establish the club as a premier organisation in the Borough.

With this, and an influx of new residents into the area we operate from, it is a chance for us to expand and grow the provision we can offer and become the showcase Junior sports facility for the community we operate in.

External Recognition of Bridge as a Club

We are recognised by Sport England (previously The Sports Council) and Rochdale Borough Council with awards being regularly achieved and recognition/awareness of the impact, effort and delivery in the local community for our 400+ players, 700 Parents, 1400 Grandparents and 100s of siblings and other family members.

Where we play, what leagues.

Our teams are in;

  • The North Bury League
  • The Bolton and Bury JFL
  • The Lancashire FA Ability Counts League

Coach Qualifications

Every team has qualified volunteers (over 75 already hold a range of appropriate certificates) with all Managers/Assistants and Club Officials either holding or working towards Qualifications in;

  • Football Association Level 1 Coaching
  • First Aid
  • Safeguarding and Protecting Children and Vulnerable Adults
  • Football Association Level 2 qualifications
  • Referee Badges
  • Football Association Goalkeeping Coaching Badges
  • Football Association Age Appropriate Coaching Badges
  • Some are also working towards, or have, their Uefa B Coaching Badges.
  • Coaching Disabled Footballers

So, you can see that there is a wealth of experience and expertise available

We also have access to FA Consultants and Mentor Coaches, provided to us via the FA because of our Charter Status, for us to utilise, to assist in continually helping our coaches develop and grow their own skills, by receiving advice and guidance, and gaining access to all the new coaching initiatives that the FA encourage clubs to embrace.

DBS/CRB Background clearance checks

All our active volunteers have to undergo background checks to reassure parents that all our volunteers are above doubt and have in place the appropriate CRB/DBS checks.

Winter Training

All Winter Training, Floodlit and Indoor, provided by Club at various sites around the Rochdale area is paid for by the Club.

School Links

We have links with numerous schools in the Borough of Rochdale.

The Football Environment

Our aim is to provide the best access to football that we can, in an enjoyable, supportive, qualified and safe environment and ensure that the players under our care ENJOY, first and foremost their time with us. We pride ourselves on setting good standards of behaviour, of encouraging and not criticising, of remembering that children do not make mistakes on purpose, and of supporting not criticising their efforts when on the field of play. We see the challenge of behaviour off the pitch as the most important one that we constantly need to address, and if we get that right – which we believe we do – then all the other positives come through as a result of setting the right example. It is quite clear that it is how Adults behave off the pitch that affects how youngsters feel and behave on it. We aim to stop passion overtaking self-control and turning into aggression or bullying from the side-line. Our job is to make sure we lead by example, are good role models and provide the right atmosphere and environment for our own, and other, children to grow into enjoying the game we all passionately support.

Leagues we play in

North Bury Junior Football League

Bolton, Bury and District Football League