Furngate Youth FC was founded in 1983, previously known as Pandas.
The Furngate name came about players at the time, were from Furnace Green and Tilgate.
The team entered into the Horley League (as the Crawley League only had five opponents) only to discover that unless playing in the Crawley league, we were not eligible for a council pitch.
In the space of three seasons we grew from one team to five and then to nine. What started as a football team had grown into a football club, following the growth of the Club a “home base” was needed. We were fortunate to rent a field in Ifield Wood; this was large enough for three pitches and ample parking. Whilst things were somewhat rough and ready they did enable us to play from one home base and with back-to-back games it was not uncommon to have five or six teams playing at home on the same day. As time moved on we converted one end of the porta-cabin into a kitchen serving teas and bacon butties! We had Floodlights and generators which allowed us to train there during the winter months. Unfortunately, fluctuating finances, increases in ground rent and a reduced number of teams forced us to give up the ground in the mid-90s.
Despite this setback, the Club continued to grow each season and by the 2014-5 season following a steady increase in the number of teams, we had 14 youth teams and one adult team playing in Crawley Youth District League, Mid Sussex Youth league, Sussex Sunday League and Mid Sussex Adult League. The Club has had great success over recent years, with many of our teams winning their leagues and various Cup games.
Growth and success meant we were again able to secure home facilities at Finches Field, Pease Pottage which was a great bonus for the club. Maintained by ourselves, the pitches are the envy of many other clubs.
For many years, we held a very successful 2-day tournament to raise funds for the club, and we received many compliments over the years, saying it was the best around! Regrettably, owing to time and availability of support over the weekend, these had to stop.
On 26th February 2015, we were awarded the FA Chartered Standard in recognition of the work that the club does with the young people in the local community, providing a football opportunity for all. The award is assessed annually and six years later we still proudly hold this status thanks to the great Managers, Coaches and players who form Furngate Football Club.
As with many clubs the 2019-20 season came to an abrupt end when COVID-19 hit the game and rolled over into 2020-21 Season. Players & Coaches were “lost” with no training and matches each week.
The number of teams in Clubs tend to fluctuate over the seasons for a variety of reasons. We are delighted to have started the 2021-22 season with 10 Teams, 4 of which are new this season, U7, 2 x U8s and a 2nd U9 team, and we have welcomed new Coaches to the Club. We are constantly receiving requests from players wanted to join, looking for age groups we don’t currently have. If we have a coach available, we will set up a team!
We currently have teams in both Mid Sussex Youth League and Crawley Youth District League