A familiar - not to mention eye catching - name to return to our League this coming season is that of Stone Dominoes.
In a previous guise, the club enjoyed a 13 year spell in the NWCFL, although it proved to be a bit of a roller coaster ride.
But now, the club that was founded at St. Dominic`s Catholic Church Scout, Cub, Beaver Group in Stone - whose young members chose the name of Stone Dominoes FC - are back in the league and the links to the past still remain for those who remember the club from the last time they were with us.
The club crest remains the same, the club colours are still red shirts with black shorts and socks, and their home ground in Yarnfield, on the outskirts of Stone, is unchanged, although it is now known as Wellbeing Park, with the ground now also being the home venue for fellow League newcomers Stone Old Alleynians.
The ground hasn’t undergone major developments since the last time the club were involved in the league, although there are ongoing discussions regarding the redevelopment of the clubhouse and changing rooms.
The Dominoes began their NWCFL journey when they joined the league in 2000-01, and were promoted as Division Two runners-up two years later. Although they were relegated in 2006-07, within three seasons they had bounced back up, this time as Champions under the management of Shaun Hollinshead.
However, after three troubled seasons in the Premier Division, they resigned from the NWCFL at the end of the 2012/13 season, before being reformed under the stewardship of Kyle Adams and Dominic Ryder in 2015.
They then took their place in the Staffordshire County Senior League Division One, being promoted to the Premier Division as champions in 2016-17.
Now, having established themselves back in senior football at Step 7 over the last few seasons, they make the step up hoping to learn from previous experiences, while at the same time looking to develop on and off the field.
In addition to the first team at the club in the senior section, there is also a junior section which is made up of more than 30 boys and girls sides, ranging in age groups from Under 6’s to Under 17’s.
As far as the first team aspirations are concerned for the season ahead, manager Kyle Adams is optimistic that they can make a good impression.
Kyle coached at Port Vale Academy before stepping into senior football with Norton United Reserves in the Staffs County League for 4 years, before he moved on to Dominoes for the return of the first team in 2015.
“We first looked into applying for the move when the restructure was announced and we spoke to a couple of local clubs involved in the league to get an idea of what was involved on and off the pitch”, said Kyle.
“The ambition in this first season is to finish as high up the league as possible, and show that we’re not in there just to make up the numbers.
“We are under no illusions of how much of a challenge the step up will be, but we intend to be competitive in every game throughout the season.
"It’s my first time in this league, and no current players or officials were involved in the last regime, so it is a new experience for everyone, although Paul Snape and Craig Bould, who are part of my management team, both have experience in the league.
“Everyone involved is looking forward to visiting and welcoming new clubs, along with meeting some great people involved in the league, and we can’t wait to get started now.”