Fleetwood Town can confirm an exciting international expansion as the club has officially partnered with South African side, Hout Bay United Football Community (HBUFC).
Hout Bay United - who play in the semi-professional ABC Motsepe league - join the Fleetwood Town family and will be alongside Dubai-based Fleetwood United, South African side Western Cape Fleetwood, and Waterford from Ireland.
The club, from the historic fishing village of Hout Bay, are a community club that aim to bring different communities together, whilst uplifting young people, through their mentorship, and promote top class football with the aim to bring a common hope & pride to the people of Hout Bay.
On the partnership, chairman Andy Pilley has said that the work that the club does within its local community is not only remarkable but should also be applauded.
“There’s remarkable synergy between the two towns. What I think is remarkable – and this should be applauded – is the great community work the trustees and the team are doing.
“Fishing is also Fleetwood’s heritage but sadly our industry is in decline because of over-exploitation of traditional fishing grounds. Like Hout Bay, the town suffers from social and economic problems caused by chronic unemployment,” said Pilley.
HBUFC has players from Hout Bay who have gone on to represent South Africa, both men and women, at various age levels. And, while the club is proud of its accomplishments, the club’s trustees feel some of them are ready to play on even bigger stages.
The partnership with Fleetwood Town affords their players and even coaches the opportunity to achieve greater success through our club and its connections throughout Europe and beyond.
Jeremy Elson, co-founder and trustee of HBUFC, added: “The magic of the project here in Hout Bay is the connection between the club’s on and off-field activities, each relies equally on the other.
“Their community building and social upliftment work as a charity provides real meaning, a sense of purpose – the message being that what they do is bigger than a game - and this ultimately creates much of our support, just as much as any of the success on the field.
“Equally, the more we achieve, the higher level we play, serves to increase the power of our mentorship opportunities and the scale of our impact.”
The club’s motto is ‘more than a team, bigger than a game’ and this has been shown as the vision from the South African is to allow players from Hout Bay to dream big, and they have managed to do that so far, and will be working with Fleetwood Town to further progress these ambitions.
Our aim to assist Hout Bay United and help advance their vision to establish a world class football academy and training facilities in Hout Bay, as this will allow the club to remain sustainable as they look to move up through the leagues.
The partnership will also enable the professional football side of the business the best chance of success while allowing the trust to focus on the community and employment projects we run.
Welcome to the Fleetwood family, Hout Bay United Football Community