Ryhall United are no more - or at least they have been reincarnated as Stamford’s newest football club the Stamford Lions.
During the off-season the management committee and all three teams who play in the PDFL leagues picked up sticks and moved to the new state of the art facilities on offer two miles down the road at Stamford AFC’s home Borderville.
Stamford Lions remain an independent club, they have not been amalgamated into Stamford AFC, they will play their matches on one of the newly created back pitches at Borderville, which was a combined project between the Daniels, Burghley Estates and New College Stamford, costing more than £5m.
The good news for league schedulers and fans is both the Daniels and Lions will be allowed to play at home at the same time.
Ryhall first team manager James Sheehan said: “We are really excited about making the move. It’s a great platform to push on and grow as a club.
“Our aim is to get into the PDFL Premier Division with this team,unfortunately the work required at Ryhall was too much so we had to look to move.
“There were just a few hurdles which we couldn’t get over at Ryhall.”
The name the Stamford Lions was born out of the lion which is found in the Stamford town crest and Sheehan and the club felt the animal is synonymous with the town, with Red Lion square at its heart and the Lion Bridge at Burghley House.
He also believes his side can be a roaring success this season. Sheehan has secured 80 per cent of his playing squad from last season, and is looking to strengthen the side with a couple of players across the pitch but he feels his team, which was heavily rebuilt two years ago when they were promoted from the PDFL Division Two, is now in a position to push for promotion.
He said: “We finished fourth last season and we want to finish three places higher this year. We have now got the confidence to attack the better sides in the league and ultimately be in the PDFL Premier but there is a lot of hard work to be done before now and then.”
The club have started their pre-season training at Empingham Road and on Tuesday night Stamford Lions played their first ever game, away at Crowland in a pre-season friendly. Rob Forster scored a hat-trick in a 3-0 Lions victory.
It was the first of at least three games before the start of the season with Cottesmore Amateurs and Riverside opponents in the coming weeks.
They will kick-off the PDFL Division One season as part of the Groundhop Weekend away at King’s Cliff on August 2, 5pm ko, which will see hundreds of fans on the sideline, having travelled around eight grounds over a long weekend.