Seven university students have become the youngest ever owners of a non-league club.

The students, who studied at Hampton School together, took over Walton and Hersham Football club in the summer, hoping that their youthful approach will modernise and re-energise the club. This fresh new leadership was formed with the aspirations of gaining a strong fan base by leading it down a new, vibrant avenue.

Although the thought of a group of university students taking over a football club may appear naive, the students have a clear set of principles and aims of what they want to achieve in the coming year.

In conversation with one of the student owners, club secretary, Calogero Scannella, stated “there is a strategy in place. Our main aim is to modernise the club in a way that not many of the other teams in and around our division are doing. This has included revamping the website and club crest.” He further added that “the squad is young and full of potential, and we have aspirations of promotion this season." Their dreams don’t stop there, Scannella continued that they "want to return Walton and Hersham to being one of the premier teams in Surrey."

The students, who are all enrolled on a degree programme, understand how the opportunity presented to them is great, and therefore not one which they are likely to take for granted as the thought of owning a football club is just a dream for many people.

As the season continues, it will be interesting to see how the students juggle university life with running a successful club, but there is certainly no doubting their sportsman- like team spirit, providing a very promising glimpse into the future of Walton and Hersham FC.  

by Tara Bradbury