Saltdean United FC - Brief history
Saltdean United are a club that once had high ambitions and not so long ago were one of the leading clubs in the County of Sussex.
Originally formed in 1966 on the back of England’s World Cup success, the club started life in the local Brighton Saturday League and gradually moved up their division structure over the years. Following the acquisition of its current ground at Hill Park the club joined Division 3 of the Sussex County League in 1984/85, finishing third in its first season. Promotion to Division 2 and senior football came in 1988/89 when they finished champions. The next seven seasons were spent in Division Two, with the “Tigers” eventually winning the title in 1995/96 with games to spare.
Promotion to Division 1 saw the clubhouse completely revamped and floodlights installed – the first Sussex County League club to invest in the impressive Musco system from the USA - still one of the best lighting systems in the County League today. With financial support behind them, the “Tigers” quickly began establishing themselves as a force in the top division, finishing 4th in their inaugural season and also reaching the final of the Sussex Senior Cup; losing to St. Leonards by the odd goal. That game saw Paul Ifill, who has since had spells at Millwall, Sheffield United and Crystal Palace, score Saltdean United’s goal. In 1998/99 the club finished as runners-up to champions Burgess Hill Town, and 3rd in the following year when they also lifted the John O’Hara League Challenge Cup, beating Burgess Hill Town in extra time at Three Bridges.
Over the next two seasons however, the club’s fortunes changed dramatically. Proposed development work to Hill Park failed to materialise; funding was substantially reduced and this, combined with significant changes both on and off the pitch, saw the Tigers fall to 16th position, with relegation to Division 2 following in 2001/02. This was the first time in the club’s history that it had suffered relegation. Despite finishing 5th in their first season back in Division Two, this could not be sustained and the following seasons saw the club finish consistently in the lower half of the division. This trend continued until relegation to Div. 3 occurred at the end of 2006/07, despite a determined effort to avoid the drop towards the end of that season.
Saltdean United have run youth teams for all ages for many years and in January 2005 were awarded FA Charter Standard in recognition of the club’s organisation and how it is run at all levels, particularly in relation to youth football. Planning permission was granted in August 2007 for the creation of a Mini Soccer pitch within the perimeter of the club’s property and work was completed on this during the summer of 2009. The younger age groups are now able to play their mini soccer matches at the main football club.
The three main priorities of the club remain as follows; to improve the quality of football played throughout the entire club, to achieve the building of a new clubhouse and dressing room facilities together with necessary ground improvements to meet the ever increasing requirements of the Football Association and to improve both internal and external communications with regard to maintaining a “one club” approach.
What we Offer
Saltdean United are pleased to offer football for the community at all levels. Our aim is to offer teams from Under 6 all the way through to Senior Level the opportunity to learn and play football.