Senior Club History

Rockleaze Avonside football club was established in 1976 as a Sunday team under the name of Nat West Court FC. After a couple of seasons, the club expanded into Saturday football and joined the Bristol and Suburban League in 1979.

Thereafter followed a number of years during which the club progressed through the divisions, with the highlight being GFA Minor Cup winners in 1986. The club were now known as Avonside Court and this progression culminated in being crowned Premier 2 Division Champions in 1989.

After finishing the following season in 4th place in Prem 1, the early 90’s marked a transitional period for the club, establishing closer ties with Bristol and West and, as by then the club had moved grounds to play at the Bristol and West Sports Club then on the Portway.

Under the management of Geoff Bryant and latterly Paul Smith, the club attracted a core of young players, many of whom are still with the club today. During this period the club enjoyed its most consistent performance, finishing in the top 6 in 4 consecutive seasons and narrowly missing out on the Prem 1 Championship in 1999 season, having to settle for Runners-up spot.

Another difficult period for the Club followed, with the club now known as B+W Avonside having to find a new home at the University Ground at Coombe Dingle, following the closure of the Bristol and West Sports Ground, and losing a number of key players to Gloucestershire and Somerset County League Clubs. This resulted in relegation back to Suburban Prem 2 in 2004, however, this was a turning point in the club’s fortunes, with the appointment of Andy Myland as 1st Team Manager, many of our past players returned coupled with the recruitment of a number of new faces and the team immediately returned to Prem 1 in 2005 as Prem 2 runners up.

Cup semi-final appearances in the GFA senior Amateur in 2006 and the Suburban League Cup in 2007 ended in disappointment and despite 2 seasons of mid table finishes the decision was taken to strengthen the management team still further.

The appointment of Carmelo Micciche as Manager assisted by both Roger Coke and previous manager Myland saw season 2007-08 start with much optimism. This optimism was not unfounded and the 1st team ended as GFA Senior Amateur Cup Champions, runners up in the Suburban Prem 1 and promotion to the Gloucestershire County League for the first time in the club’s history.

The club’s first season in the Gloucestershire County League was played once again under the leadership of Carmello Micciche and saw the team finish in a creditable tenth position after being in the top 6 for a long period of time.

During the summer of 2009 B+W Avonside amalgamated with a junior football club known as Rockleaze Rangers also based at the University Ground in Coombe Dingle to form a new ‘all through’ FA Charter Club known as Rockleaze Avonside FC. The junior section runs teams from Under 6’s through to Under 16’s with a membership exceeding 280.

Season 2009-10 ended with the 1st team finishing in a respectable 9th in the league a slight improvement on the previous season. With the success of the amalgamation and with under 16 players plus a few older ex Rockleaze juniors starting to filter in to the various teams, during the summer of 2010 the decision was made to augment the merger further by playing under a single banner, that being Rockleaze Ranger’s F.C.

Due to retirements and players moving on 2010-11 started poorly for Micciche’s team with the 1st team losing 10 of our first 11 matches and being firmly rooted to the foot of the table for over 6 months. The arrival of Carl Hart from Hanham, bringing with him 8 others turned the season around and with closer ties being formed with the University of Bristol FC a competitive team was put together and an upturn in fortunes culminated in the team finishing in a credible 12th position. Despite the 1st teams early season problems the clubs remaining teams all had a successful season, the Reserve team had their highest ever finish in Suburban League Div 1, the A team were promoted from Suburban League Div 5 allowing the club to expand to 4 Saturday teams and the Sunday Veterans were promoted for the second season in a row.