Poole Town F.C.
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|Full name||Poole Town Football Club|
|Nickname(s)||The Dolphins 🐬|
(merger of Poole Rovers F.C. and Poole Hornets F.C.)
|Ground||Tatnam Ground, Poole|
|League||Southern League Premier Division South|
|2017–18||National League South, 20th of 22 (relegated)|
Poole Town Football Club is a football club based in Poole, Dorset, England. They currently compete in the Southern League Premier Division South. The club was established in 1880 and they affiliated to the Dorset County Football Association and are a FA Charter Standard Community Club. The team spent two seasons in the National League South before relegation in 2018.
Poole Town were formed when two local teams, Poole Hornets and Poole Rovers, merged in 1890. Both teams had been in existence since 1880. Poole joined the Dorset League in 1896 then the Hampshire League in 1903. The club enjoyed success in the Dorset Senior Cup in their early years, winning it for the fifth time in 1907.
After several seasons without football because of the First World War, the club began playing again in the 1919–20 season under the name Poole & St. Marys. They changed their name back to Poole FC after one season. Poole joined the Western League in 1923.
Poole won the Dorset Senior Cup again in 1926, the club also turned professional that year and joined the Southern Football League, Eastern Division. The 1926–27 season saw the club's best FA Cup run in its history. They reached the third round and played Everton, losing 3–1 at Goodison Park. They won the Dorset Senior Cup again in 1927 and reached the First Round of the FA Cup three seasons in a row. Poole rejoined the Western League in 1930 and stayed there (except for the 1934–35 season) until 1957.
In 1933, Poole moved into Poole Stadium. They became known as "Poole Town" in 1934. Poole Town reached the First Round Proper of the FA Cup in 1946. They held Queens Park Rangers to a 2–2 draw before losing in the replay 6–0. They reached the first round again in 1963 and 1967, losing to Watford (after a replay) and Queens Park Rangers, respectively. The Main Stand at Poole Stadium was built by supporters of the Club for the Football Club in the 1950s. In 1994 the Dog Track was widened making the center green too small for a regulation pitch. Poole Town were obliged to move on and find a new home.
In 1994, Poole Town were forced to leave Poole Stadium to make way for Poole Pirates speedway and greyhound racing. They shared a ground with Hamworthy United for the 1995–96 season, during which they lost 39 consecutive matches, equalling the record set by Stockport County in 1977, and winning just 1 point from 42 league matches. The record was subsequently beaten by A.F.C. Aldermaston in 2010. Poole Town were relegated from the Southern League and joined the Hampshire League Division One, sharing a ground with Holt United.
Poole won the Dorset Senior Cup for the 12th time in 1998. They also won the Hampshire League Cup and finished 3rd in the league. They won the league cup again in 1999 and finished 2nd in the league but were not promoted. The Hampshire League Premier Division was created for the 2000–01 season but Poole could not join because they did not have sufficient ground grading. They were effectively relegated, staying in the first division.
In 2000, they were promoted into the Hampshire League Premier Division. They moved into Haskells Rec in Newtown but left after a few seasons due to vandalism.
In October 2000, Poole started playing at Tatnam, the school field of Oakdale South Road Middle School (now Oakdale Junior School). They subsequently built a permanent barrier around the pitch, hardstanding, floodlights, dugouts, a small club shop, tea hut, licensed bar and a £80,000 stand which allowed them to be promoted into the Wessex League First Division.
In 2008, Poole Town submitted plans for the creation of a new £1.2 million ground at Branksome Recreation Ground which would enable them to meet strict Football Association criteria to gain promotion to the Southern League Division One. However, In December 2009 the Poole Borough Council Planning Committee turned the plans down due to loss of open space policy and no perceived community benefit. The club switched to plan B and have since won planning permission for a £2-3M development at Canford Magna, adjacent to Canford Park Arena. Although a privately funded 3G pitch was built on the Canford Land, no work has yet commenced for the new stadium.
The 2008–09 season saw Poole win the Wessex Premier title and Dorset Senior Cup (beating Dorchester 2–0 aet). Poole Town were the second best team of 1,600 Football Association clubs in England, based on points per match, with the following record: played 42, won 38, drawn 2, lost 2. They were, however, denied promotion due to inadequate ground grading at that time.
In the 2009–10 season Poole Town sold Charlie Austin to Swindon Town for an undisclosed sum. Austin scored 46 goals in 46 games in his first season at Poole and 18 goals in 11 games before his transfer. He signed off with 5 goals in his last game against Moneyfields. Despite jumping six divisions, Austin continued scoring goals (eventually earning a transfer to Championship club Burnley and then Queens Park Rangers, playing at that time in the Premiership and with Charlie being one of the top scorers for the 2014–15 season). The 2009–10 season ended for Poole with another Wessex title for Poole, but no promotion due to ground grading again.
During the 2010–11 season Poole Town won the Wessex League Premier Division for the 3rd consecutive season and reached the semi-final of the FA Vase and the Fourth Qualifying Round of the FA Cup. In contrast to previous seasons, the club were granted promotion to the Southern League after FA agreed to them staging Southern League football at Tatnam following a temporary upgrade of the facilities.
The 2012–13 season saw the club promoted as champions of Southern League Division One South and West to the Premier division. The club completed a treble that season by winning the Dorset Senior Cup when they beat Wimborne Town 4–1 in the final and the Southern League Champions Cup, beating Burnham away 0–1. The Dolphins were also voted the Southern League SWD1 club of the season.
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The 2013–14 season saw Poole miss out on the playoffs by just one point, having had three points deducted for playing an ineligible player during one match earlier in the season. The 2014–15 season saw Poole Town win the (Red Insure) Southern League Cup, beating Corby in the two legged final (on away goals). However, Corby had the last laugh as Poole missed out on the Championship on the last day of the season losing 2–3 at home to Corby who were second at the start of play on goal difference. The game was watched by a Tatnam record 2,203 crowd. The match had been billed as "Winner takes all" and the defeat consigned Poole to the Playoffs, where they lost in the semi-final at home to St Neots Town.
Tatnam was upgraded again in 2013 with the dugouts moved opposite the Main Stand, a new clubhouse, a third turnstile, 100 more seats including 50 in the small stand (which was moved), increased sizes for the dressing rooms, more toilets and a new changing facility for the officials, as well as a new stand at the Fleetsbridge End. The total upgrade cost over £200,000 and was completed in just over 2 months. The grading allows promotion to the National League South which they achieved at the end of the 2015-16 season.
Poole immediately competed near the top of the National League South in their first season, but were dealt a blow as they were ruled ineligible for promotion due to a lack of 500 covered seats in their stadium. Poole went on to finish 5th, which would have otherwise qualified for the playoffs. Poole then struggled throughout the 2017-18 season, and found themselves on the final day as one of two teams fighting to stave off the final drop spot - along with the other team also passed over for the previous season's playoffs, Hungerford Town. A 2-0 Poole over Oxford City victory gave them hope, but ultimately Hungerford's narrow 1-0 win at East Thurrock United meant relegation back down to the Southern League South for the 2018-19 season.
Poole Town play their games at The Black Gold Stadium at Tatnam, School Lane, Poole.
The club continues to explore alternative ground locations. Reports suggest a possible return to Poole Stadium, but there is no official announcement on this matter.
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
- Southern Premier League:
- Southern League Division One :
- Runners-up (1): 1961–62
- Southern League Division One South :
- Runners-up (1): 1989–90
- Southern League Division One South & West:
- Western League :
- Wessex League Premier Division :
- Wessex League Division Two:
- Runners-up (1): 2004–05
- Hampshire League Premier Division:
- Runners-up (2): 1998–99, 2000–01
- Hampshire League Division One:
- Winners (1): 1999–00
- Dorset Senior Cup:
- Winners (16): 1894–95, 1896–97, 1898–99, 1901–02, 1903–04, 1906–07, 1925–26, 1926–27, 1937–38, 1946–47, 1974–75, 1988–89, 1997–98, 2008–09, 2012–13, 2013–14
- Runners-up (19): 1890–91, 1892–93, 1895–96, 1897–98, 1899–00, 1900–01, 1910–11, 1927–28, 1932–33, 1936–37, 1948–49, 1950–51, 1961–62, 1987–88, 1992–93, 1993–94, 1994–95, 2003–04, 2005–06
- Western Football League Cup:
- Winners (1): 1954–55
- Wessex League Cup:
- Runners-up (1): 2009–10
- Trophyman Cup:
- Winners (2): 1997–98, 1998–99
- Southern League Champions Cup:
- Winners (1): 2012–13
- Southern League Cup (Red Insure):
- Winners (1): 2014–15
- Highest (old) league position: 16th Southern League Premier Division – 1966–67 
- Highest (recent) league position: 5th National League South - 2016-2017
- Lowest league position: 1st Hampshire League Division One 
- Best FA Cup run: 3rd Round Proper – 1926 
- FA Trophy best performance: First Round 1969–70, 1970–71, 1974–75, 1987–88
- FA Vase best performance: Semi-final 2010–11
- Largest home crowd: 6,575 vs Watford in the FA Cup 1st round replay – 1963 
- Largest Tatnam crowd: 2,203 vs Corby in the final game of the season (Winner takes All) – 2014–15
- Biggest home win: 10–0 vs Horndean – 2009 
- Biggest away win: 11–0 vs Horndean – 1998 
- Record transfer fee (Paid): Nicky Dent (£5,000) – 1990 
- Record transfer fee (Received): Charlie Austin (Undisclosed – est. £180,000) – 2009
Poole Town were one of the top seven best supported teams in the Southern Premier League with the highest League attendance of the 2014–15 season with 2,203 finishing the season with an average of 458 across all League games. The official mascot is Dylan The Dolphin.
- "Barclays Premier League – Club Directory". Archived from the original on 2012-07-09.
- "Poole Town FC homepage". Retrieved 26 June 2018.
- "Welcome to Poole Town FC". Pooletownfc.co.uk. Archived from the original on 3 December 2012. Retrieved 22 November 2012.
- "Berkshire football team sets record for defeats". BBC News. 2010. Retrieved 2014-08-06.
- "Poole plan move to Branksome Rec". Dorset Echo. Newsquest. 2008. Retrieved 29 June 2008.[permanent dead link]
- Rundle, Richard. "2008–09 Wessex League". www.fchd.info. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
- Rundle, Richard. "2009–10 Wessex League". www.fchd.info. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
- "Poole Town win Wessex Premier League to gain promotion". BBC news. BBC. 18 April 2011. Retrieved 9 August 2011.
- Mitchell, Andy (14 May 2013). "Poole Town: Spetch tips in-demand Walker to stay at Tatnam (From Bournemouth Echo)". Bournemouthecho.co.uk. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
- "Dorset Senior Cup Final – Wimborne Town 1 Poole Town 4". Wimborne Town FC. 9 April 2013. Archived from the original on 24 June 2013. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
- POOLE TOWN at the Football Club History Database Cite error: Invalid
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- "Poole Town denied championship celebration by Clevedon Town". This is Dorset. 18 April 2013. Archived from the original on 4 October 2013. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
- Dorset Senior Cup at the Football Club History Database
- "Welcome to Poole Town FC". Pooletownfc.co.uk. Archived from the original on 7 March 2012. Retrieved 22 November 2012.
- "Western Football League Cup 1955–1988" (PDF). Western Football League. Retrieved 6 January 2013.[permanent dead link]
- "Welcome to Poole Town FC". Pooletownfc.co.uk. Archived from the original on 7 August 2012. Retrieved 22 November 2012.
- Andy Starmore (27 September 2006). "Rivals Wimborne and Poole lead the way in the attendance table". Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 18 December 2006.
- Official website
- Profile from official Southern League website[permanent dead link]
- Pyramid Passion ground profile
- Poole Town at the Football Club History Database