Known as “Welchy” amongst his team, Alex Welch is a midfield maestro and team Captain, now playing in his sixth season for Eastleigh based club AFC Stoneham.
Alex led the team at St Marys, making over 180 appearances during their winning season at the 2019/2020 Wessex One Championship, the same year the club celebrated its centenary anniversary.
However, during a match in August 2021, Alex suffered a knee injury and had to undergo surgery to reconstruct his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), ultimately missing the season.
The operation was successful, and he made a full recovery, supported by the club and his teammates throughout his rehabilitation.
Alex now continues to lead AFC Stoneham from where he left off – recently beating Cowes Sports 2-1 and thrashing Alresford Town 9-1.
Sillence Hurn’s Managing Director, Alex Hurn, said: “It’s great to be able to support a local team and see the impact they have on the community.
“Football plays a huge role in a lot of young people’s lives, and having local businesses support their local clubs, you can really see the difference it makes” he added.
The club has announced there will be 92 teams going forward this season, 2022/23, from its minnow team up to their first team – who are competing in the Wessex Premier League.
Founded in 1919, AFC Stoneham was known then as the Royal Engineers FC - a club for soldiers returning home from the war.
The club changed names and passed through hands throughout the 20th century before finally settling in their Stoneham Lane location in 1999. However, it was only in 2007 that the club became known as AFC Stoneham.
Since then, the club has won the Senior Cup (2012/2013), Hampshire League Cup (2015), and have been promoted to the Sydenhams Wessex League.
However, it was 2019 where AFC Stoneham really shined, entering the FA Cup for the first time, celebrating their 100th anniversary as a club, winning the Division One title, and reaching the final of the Senior Cup at St Mary’s Stadium.
The club has continued to go from strength to strength, winning 32 trophies last season and finishing 5th in their first full season at Step 5 Level in the Wessex Premier League.
AFC Stoneham are very prolific in front of goal. Championing their reputation as the second highest scoring side in the league, Stoneham AFC have scored 59 goals already this season.
Unbeaten at home, winning ten games, and drawing none, the team is going strong and are currently second in the Wessex League Premier Division.
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