Shaw Lane Aquaforce F.C.was formed in 2012 with the merging of two clubs, Barugh F.C. (1991), one of Barnsleys’ finest junior clubs, and Aquaforce F.C.(2007)the successful senior club who were causing quite a stir in the Barnsley and Sheffield leagues.
Barugh Boys u11s was first entered into the Barnsley Junior League as the only team in the club. We were a small village team whose popularity created a lot of interest and soon developed into a club who initially played all our home games in the village of Barugh.
In 2005 Barugh F.C.( changed to accommodate several girls and ladies teams), were invited to play our games at Shaw Lane Sports Club to accommodate our growing membership. We gained F.A. Charter Standards and in 2007 we were awarded a £1,000,000 grant from the Football Foundation /Sport England to build new changing rooms and function rooms.
We have currently 12 junior teams, girls and boys running from Shaw Lane and are currently the only Barnsley club with the F.A. Community Charter status. Aquaforce F.C. was formed in 2007 as a Sunday morning pub team. The following season they entered in the Sheffield County Senior League which is a Saturday league, and quickly made a big impression by winning the league and the Rosehill Cup.
Then promoted into the first division (this was the first of 5 successive promotions for the club) we knew that any further progress would require a ground that was suitable. Aquaforce won the County Senior premier league and a move was made to move to Shaw Lane where the junior club, Barugh FC and the senior club Aquaforce FC would merge into one which was a move that gave both parties the progression they craved.
In 2012 under our new name, Shaw Lane Aquaforce F.C .had a team capable of an assault on the County Senior Premier League with a mix of young and experienced players. The season was hard fought and the club suffered only 1 defeat which was incredibly their opening fixture! The next stage in our plan was to enter into the North East Counties League. We had entered into an agreement with our Shaw Lane partners, Barnsley Rugby Club, to share their pitch and consulted with officials from the NECL to ensure that the ground came up to the conditions required.
The ground at Shaw Lane was lengthened by 16m and endorsed by the F.A. and all that was left now was to attend the NECL AGM and secure the votes from the League members. We were not accepted into the league which was unprecedented and would ultimately mean that league rules were changed to ensure that this could never happen again. The only course that was for us now was to appeal to the FA! We attended the hearing at Wembley along with league officials from the NECL, who were fully supportive of us to be part of the league and were successful in our hearing.
We were now officially promoted into the NECL! Our season 2013/14 was a big step into the unknown for us both on and off the field. We got off to a great start and began playing good football despite doubters saying that football and rugby couldn’t work side by side, picking up points along the way. By Christmas we had become league leaders but we never opened up any sizeable leads and were always aware of other clubs being within striking distance of our position. The wet winter months took their toll on the playing surface at Shaw Lane and we were constantly battling against the rain with games being postponed to create a fixture pile up at the end of the season.
Our form after Christmas suffered but we held on and although we didn’t win the league, we gained promotion at our first attempt by finishing runners–up to Cleethorpes FC, a remarkable achievement by any standards. What was equally important is that we did this playing attractive football on the field and this was rewarded with good support from a healthy fan base. Promotion to the NECL Premier League was another huge step forward for the club and it was also the first year we would be able to enter the FA Vase.
We approached the Vase competition as a bonus to our main aim, the League title, but as we progressed through the rounds, Wembley became a realistic target .We were interviewed in a light-hearted, humorous manner by Colin Walker on his Talk-Sport show, who likened us to a side of “Super-Heroes” prior to our Quarter final encounter with Glossop F.C,.which we eventually lost after extra time in a replay at Glossop. Losing to Glossop, who went on to play in the final at Wembley, was of course a big disappointment but it had been the most remarkable journey in our first venture into the Vase.
In the League we had been equally successful with Shaw Lane Aquaforce F.C. always top or thereabouts. However our F.A.Vase run and pitch problems had put us behind with our fixtures. In our run-in to the season, an unbeaten run of 11 games meant that we clinched the NECL Premier League title at our first attempt! The following season, 2015-16, saw us compete in the Evo-Stik Division One South for the first time in our history and despite the extremely wet winter and many postponed home games, we reached the play offs but unfortunately lost out to Coalville Town in the final.
We reached the final of the Sheffield Senior Cup but due to the back to back weekday games , which included the prestigious play offs, we took the extremely difficult decision to not fulfil the final fixture and AFC Frickley were awarded the win and the Cup. Following some correspondence from the FA and the League we were informed that we could not include our sponsor name or business "Aquaforce" in our Club name so from this season we will be known as Shaw Lane A.F.C. Needless to say our second season in the Evo-Stik Northern League will give us more memories and stories to tell. The history of Shaw Lane A.F.C.goes on...!