Continental Star vs Pelsall Villa
31 March 2012
Continental Star 1 Pelsall Villa 0
(at Rushall Olympic FC)
Midland Football Combination, Premier Division
Attendance: 45

Continental Star FC was formed on Villa Road in Handsworth, Birmingham in 1973 as Villa Star FC but within two years the name was changed to reflect the ‘continental’ demographic of its players, drawn from throughout the Caribbean islands. It is however, much more than a football club and indeed, General Manager Lincoln Moses who first arrived as a player in 1979 and was subsequently Secretary and Manager, suggests that ‘Family Club’ is in fact more representative of the initials F and C.

In 2009 Moses was awarded the MBE in recognition of his services to Grassroots Football, but although arguably the club ‘figurehead’ he is just one of many who have given many years of service to the club. Chairman Keith John for example is now in his 34th season, having also joined as a player initially before taking on Secretarial and Managerial responsibilities.

Today Continental Star is a Social Enterprise and Registered Charity that seeks to help those within the local community that are often marginalised and considered by others as hard to reach. As well as running no fewer than 15 teams, the club also has a successful after-school Homework Club which targets disadvantaged Young People and a women’s help group providing valuable support and advice to the unemployed and lone parents. The club also acts as Grassroots Black & Asians Minority Ethnic advisors to the FA and ‘Kick It Out’.

In addition the Continental Star Academy is a partnership with local education/training service providers, and under its umbrella exist a range of discrete activities which use sport as a vehicle to deliver educational and vocational improvement activities distinct from the general playing teams of the football club. This includes the ‘Second Strike’ initiative that specifically targets young people that have been excluded from school or are at risk of exclusion.

Funding however, remains a perennial problem for a club that has never have a home ground to call its own and has been forced to lead a nomadic existence since its formation, relying in excess of twenty ground-sharing arrangements over the years. ‘Home’ is currently Rushall Olympic’s Dales Lane ground.

Under the managerial partnership of ex-pros Delton Francis and Darren Wright, the Stars currently find themselves at the top of the Midland Football Combination and looking at the possibility of promotion to the Step 5 Midland Alliance, which would represent the club’s highest ever position in the non-League pyramid. Having comfortably seen off today’s visitors and local rivals Pelsall Villa earlier in the season, surely the Stars would consolidate their position as League leaders and promotion favourites?

Of course, as we all know in football, things are never quite so simple. Villa in fact proved a tough nut to crack on this occasion and it wasn’t until deep into the second half that a fine free-kick from captain Davion Hamilton finally broke the deadlock, scoring a particularly vital goal considering that nearest rivals Southam United only managed a point at lowly Pershore Town. The victory allowed the Stars to open a four point gap. With all their remaining fixtures at home, that title came a little bit closer but with Southam still having a game in hand, it promises to be a tense end to the season.
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