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OJM Black Country setting sights on promotion

By Liam Keen | Grassroots | Published:

Newly-formed OJM Black Country FC are targeting promotion next season, insists manager Adam Younis, as they prepare to tackle the West Midlands League Premier Division.

Stewart Watkins and Adam Younis

The upcoming 2020/21 campaign will be the first in the club’s history after Black Country Rangers and Sunday league side OJM joined forces to become OJM Black Country.

Younis, who was Rangers’ manager and helped create OJM, will continue as boss of the new club as they go in search of promotion. He has been joined by Stewart Watkins and Adriano Girolami, who make up the managerial team.

“We’re looking forward to the new season, I really can’t wait for it to start,” Younis said.

“With the squad we have now, it’s probably going to be one of the strongest squads in the league.

“All the players were mine anyway. After Sean Geddes left and I took over, I brought in all the players after that, so we’ve just brought in a couple more and we’re sorted.

“We would like promotion, that is a priority, but we will try and win the league.

“I know other teams are strengthening, but I don’t think any of them will have the quality in depth that we have. That’s no disrespect to the other teams.”

The two clubs merged in June and will be jointly owned by Rangers chairman Paul Garner and Younis.

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OJM was set up in 2007 by Younis, his brother, cousin and a friend in memory of murdered friend Oliver Mee.

After years of Sunday league dominance, the opportunity to merge into a Saturday league team was perfect timing for the club to move to the next step.

“Paul was going to give up Black Country Rangers,” Younis added.

“He’d had enough before I joined and from what I gather he was going to give up to Wrens Nest, in the league below.

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“They were going to take over the name and move up a league, but I said rather than doing that why don’t we come in with you and change the name.

“We wanted to do it because we’ve won the Sunday league around 10 times in the last 15 years and there was no progression for us.

“We wanted to play on Saturdays instead and with him welcoming us in, we could keep both club names merged together, which made it a lot better for us.

“The most important thing was keeping the name alive.

“Sundays were getting boring for us and we wanted more. We’ve always been missing something, we weren’t getting anywhere and we were putting the same amount of money in as a Saturday club.

“I’d spoken to the chairman and everyone agreed it was the right way forward for us. It was the only way for us to keep Oliver’s name alive as well.

“We know now what we’re playing for and we want to get up the leagues.

“We’ve always been a team but not a club, and now we can become a proper Saturday club.

“It gives us the complete opportunity where only we can fail at it.

“Football comes second, Oliver’s name has to carry on no matter what. We want to keep the football alive for him, it was his passion. We also want to do well for ourselves, we won’t roll over and not play.”

Liam Keen

By Liam Keen
Sports Reporter

Sports journalist at the Express & Star, primarily covering Walsall FC and grassroots sport across the Black Country and Staffordshire. Got a story? Get in touch on 01902 319456.

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