Uprising Football Club
- Town: The Valley, Anguilla
- Founded: 2015
- Ground: Raymond E. Guishard Technical Centre (1,100)
- Nicknames: n/a
- Colours: White shirts with red diagonal stripe and black & red trim, black shorts, and black socks.
- 2023 League: Anguilla Football League
- Club Website: https://www.uprisingfc.com/
- Club Twitter: @UprisingFC
- Club Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100034708250813
- Best League Finish: 3rd in the Anguilla Football League (2021)
- Best President’s Cup Finish: Fourth Place (2017)
- AFL Development League
- Champions (1): 2020
Uprising Football Club are an Anguillan football club that currently plays in the Anguilla Football League, the top-tier league in the Anguillan football pyramid. They are based in the capital and biggest town of the British Overseas Territory, The Valley, which is located in the centre of the Caribbean island with a population of approximately 3,300. Uprising FC currently plays their home games at the 1,100-capacity Raymond E. Guishard Technical Center, which is situated in the middle of the capital, and is a stadium that they groundshare with fellow AFL side Lymers FC. The Guishard Center is also next to the 4,000-capacity Ronald Webster Park, which is another ground used by a couple of AFL sides.
The club was founded as recently as 2015 and joined the Anguilla Football League the following year, becoming the league’s ninth member (at the time). The club’s unique name was chosen by the core group of players who helped to establish the club. Being a new club in Anguillan football, the players knew that they would be considered to be underdogs by the other teams, but they also knew that they had enough potential to rise above those expectations and to get success. In their debut season in Anguillan football, the club finished in seventh position for the 2016-17 season, before improving on their league position in the following season with a fifth-place finish in 2018. In 2017, the club also achieved its best President’s Cup performance when it finished as runners-up in their group to qualify for the third-place match. Alas, the club was unable to win the bronze medal, losing 2-3 to ALHCS Spartan FC, but a fourth-place finish was still a fantastic result for the new boys in the league.
After the 2019 season was abandoned, Uprising FC concluded the 2020 league campaign in eighth position, but they managed to pick up their first piece of silverware during the season when they won the AFL Development League – the end-of-season tournament for the bottom five clubs from the AFL league. Uprising won three and drew one of their four Development League to win the tournament by two points ahead of rivals Lymers FC. In the 2021 season, Uprising achieved their best-ever league placement of third position, albeit the season was swiftly curtailed prior to the fixture schedule being completed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Alas, they could not repeat the feat in the following year when Uprising finished seventh during the first phase of the Anguillan football season, missing out on the end-of-season playoffs by just three points, before finishing in third position (or eighth overall) during the AFL Development League.
To talk about a side who have a strong social media profile and is helping to promote Anguillan football, we interviewed the fantastic John McMillan. John is the head researcher of Gibraltarian and Welsh football for the Football Manager game series, and has been one of the biggest supporters of The 94th Minute over the years, which is truly appreciated. To find his social media accounts, follow the links below:
- Twitter: @JohnMcM04582246
Q. Firstly, how did you decide to start following and supporting Uprising FC?
I have always had a liking for obscure teams, places, and nations. The proverbial David versus Goliath in football. But I have really followed Uprising since Gareth Thomas, whom I knew before, was appointed as the club’s Media Officer. I also knew Pascal Schmidt who is the club’s secretary.
Q. From your time following the club, who has been your favourite player, and the reasoning behind your choice?
There have been a few, but my favourite player has to be Matthew Brown [34-year-old defender/midfielder] whom I sponsored. He always gives 110% and is a no-nonsense player who breaks up the play, and the team is better with him playing in it.
Q. Of the current squad, who would you say is the best player at the club and why?
Currently, the best player at the club is Delani Francis [17-year-old defender], who was recently called up for the Anguillan national team in the recent CONCACAF Nations League fixture against St. Lucia. He has really impressed me when he is on the ball and running at players. Every time he gets the ball it looks like something will happen, a player to excite the fans, and can play a few positions also.
Q. Who would you say is the most exciting up & coming talent at the club?
We have a few exciting and talented players at the club. As mentioned previously, Delani is one of them, whilst another is his brother Defari Francis [18-year-old forward]. Jauron Gayle [19-year-old forward], who missed a large part of the season and was clearly missed, is a quick player who can score goals (scoring four goals in his first four games back in the side). There’s also young 17-year-old keeper Darian Carty, who without him this season we could have conceded more goals, and Javis Jones [17 years old] in central midfield who impressed when playing for us before, and I look forward to seeing him back playing for us.
Q. Who would you regard as Uprising’s biggest or historical rivals?
For the rivals, I wouldn’t say we have one although you could also say all of the teams in the league are rivals as they play all the games at the same stadium, and also being an island it’s a small place with a population of about 15000.
Q. What would you say has been the best game, result, or performance from your time following the club?
The game that springs to mind is the club’s biggest-ever win when we beat Eagle Claw 9-1 and it could have easily been more. Also, just recently Uprising defeated Diamond 2-1 in another of the club’s best performances, especially against a team who were in third position at the time.
Q. What do you think of the situation in Anguillan league football currently? Are there any improvements you would like to see happen?
Since I started to watch the league, I think the standard has risen. Foreign players joining clubs has really improved the standard of the league for the better and the Roaring Lions haven’t had it all their own way. For improvements to the league, I’d like to see more teams in the league again as some clubs have folded from last season which means fewer games for the remaining sides.
Q. How would you describe the current performance or state of the club? How do you think this season has gone so far?
The current performance of the club is improving at the moment although we have only won three games so far this season and sit third from the bottom (at the time of writing). Some of the games at the start of the season have been a hard watch. I feel the squad wasn’t strong enough initially as we only won one game, although the club has recently signed four new players, which has helped us push up the table, improve our performances greatly, and stayed undefeated in the last three games. Off the field, the club is going very well with everyone working hard behind the scenes to promote the club.
Q. What are the best and worst things about being a fan of the club?
There is nothing bad about supporting Uprising, a team located on the island paradise of Anguilla. It’s a friendly club and we have a small fan base online from all over the world, plus we get to watch every game on YouTube.
Q. Finally, what are your hopes for the future of Uprising FC?
My hope for this season is for the club to climb the table. For the future, for Uprising to be a top side in the league, then hopefully win the league/leagues or cups, and eventually (if possible) to play in the CONCACAF club competition. Also, I’d like to see more players from the club selected for the Anguillan national team.
A massive thank you to John McMillan for answering our questions on the Anguilla Football League side Uprising FC. Remember you can find their social media accounts in the links towards the top of the blogpage.
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