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What’s the low-down with Worcester Raiders?

worcester raiders

Photo by Tony Incenzo

by Tony Incenzo

Raiders are a team currently playing at Step 6 of the Non-League Pyramid who have a self-imposed 10 year plan to reach the Football League. Under normal circumstances, this might sound like total pie in the sky. After all, a club with such grand ambitions would have to massively improve their spectator facilities along the way. But what is thoroughly unique about this case is that Raiders already have a venue which more than meets League Two standards after they were purchased by Worcester Warriors Rugby Club in July 2020.

Having moved into the rugby stadium, Raiders retain a shareholding and still make the day-to-day decisions on the running of their own club. With all this exciting information in mind, I set off on a 240 mile round trip. I noted that the population of Worcester is 101,000 so there is definitely strong potential for a very successful football club in the city.

Where was it played?

The Premiership Rugby team have developed their truly impressive 11,500 capacity all-seater Sixways Stadium right next to Junction 6 of the M5 motorway. The plan was always to make it a multi-sport complex. With a synthetic artificial pitch in place, Raiders are able to play there too in the Hellenic League Division One. There are impressive grandstands with great views of the action and top class hospitality facilities including 60 suites for functions/meetings.

The 65-acre complex has ample parking for more than 1,000 cars plus extensive state-of-the-art areas for rugby and football training to take place. In my humble opinion, Sixways is a better stadium than some of the current EFL Championship grounds. It will be really interesting to follow Raiders’ progress over the next decade as they look to climb the footballing ranks. I know that they are working really hard to build up their support levels, community links and income streams which are all vital to assist progress on the field of play.

worcester raiders ground

Photo by Tony Incenzo

What’s in the programme?

It consisted of 12 pages and sold at £1. All the essentials including the line-ups, upcoming fixtures, a history of Bourton Rovers and the league table. I particularly liked the colour plan of Sixways Stadium. In his ‘WELCOME’ notes, Raiders chairman Steve Harris summed up the palatial setting by writing: “Playing at Sixways is a fantastic experience for everyone connected to the club…”

 

 

And the match itself?

Raiders cruised to victory with goals by Isaac Cooper 3 (10, 18, 73 minutes). Joe Billingham 2 (58, 82 mins), and Kyle Belmonte (39 mins). Meanwhile, Jake Oakey (71 mins) was on target for Bourton Rovers.

Facts and figures

Score: Worcester Raiders 6 Bourton Rovers 1

Where: Sixways Stadium, Warriors Way, Worcester, Worcestershire WR3 8ZE

Competition: Hellenic League Division One

Attendance: 125

You can follow Tony on Twitter at @TonyIncenzo

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