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Former Colchester United professional and AFC Sudbury promotion winner Joshua Pollard launches new team Kings Park Rangers with cousin Olly Murs among YouTube subscribers

Former professional Joshua Pollard has outlined how he hopes to one day establish his newly-formed team, Kings Park Rangers, at the same level of the non-league pyramid from where he became a promotion winner with AFC Sudbury.

The 24-year-old ex-Colchester United scholar made 36 appearances and scored four goals for Rick Andrews’ side last term as a central defender in a campaign which ended with the Pitching In Isthmian League North Division runners-up winning the play-off final.

But having been playing in pain, a mystery injury had seen Pollard’s run in the team come to an end four games before the regular campaign ended, ahead of the two home play-off matches which ultimately saw the Yellows seal their return to Step 3 of the non-league pyramid.

Kings Park Rangers were formed over the summer as the brainchild of AFC Sudbury promotion-winner Joshua Pollard (front right) and play home matches at Earls Colne FC Picture: Steve Screech
Kings Park Rangers were formed over the summer as the brainchild of AFC Sudbury promotion-winner Joshua Pollard (front right) and play home matches at Earls Colne FC Picture: Steve Screech

However, a family bereavement had seen Pollard – subsequently diagnosed with an inguinal hernia he will have a two to three year wait for surgery on – have a seed planted to launch a new club to bring his family, including superstar cousin Olly Murs, together to enjoy their shared passion of the beautiful game.

The former Great Cornard resident named the club after their family-run Amazon prep centre business based in Pebmarsh – Kings Park Fulfillment Ltd – and got them accepted into the Essex Suffolk & Border League’s second tier (of six) , Division One.

Looking to document the rise of the club, who were thankful to Earls Colne FC chairman Robert Bragg for allowing them to groundshare, on social media, they have quickly attracted a sizeable audience online, already passing 100,000 views on their YouTube content. And there was more than 100 people turn up to see the side in person at their latest fixture at Earls Colne Recreation Club.

Joshua Pollard in action for AFC Sudbury last season Picture: Mark Westley
Joshua Pollard in action for AFC Sudbury last season Picture: Mark Westley

On the pitch, there has also been plenty of encouraging signs with three wins from their opening five matches, with one draw and one defeat leaving them third in the table.

Pollard, who admits the early success of the social media side of things has blown them away, explained how his Colchester-based grandmother Judith Matthews’ funeral proved the starting point.

“The fundamental thing was last Christmas my nana fell ill with cancer and she sadly passed away in January,” he said.

“It was my first ever funeral having never lost a family member and I just sat there and thought the most important thing is the people I've got in this room.

“And I just thought I wanted to do something on a Saturday where we could all be together.

"I now play with my cousins and little brother (Euan) on the pitch, my dad's the manager (John Pollard), my uncle's the assistant manager (David Matthews) and my grandad and other family members come and watch.

“I just wanted to do something where we could spend our weekends together and do something amazing and look back on it one day and think 'wow', we've done that all as a family.

"My nana never got to see it but she would be so proud.”

He also added that his famous cousin had been enjoying the videos on their YouTube channel and hopes to soon be able to come and watch.

With the ambition he has for the club though the former Ipswich Town trainee, who now lives back where he grew up, in Tiptree, accepts it will naturally begin to grow outside of the family and become something else.

But he is therefore in no rush to jump up the leagues, with four promotions required to take it to where he hopes to one day see it become a fixture of the local scene.

“We are just going to enjoy documenting our journey,” he said.

“The long-term goal is to get this club into proper non-league football of a Step 4 level, but we haven’t put a time limit on that as this isn’t about getting instant success.

“We want to build it and gradually go through the levels when the time is right as we don’t want to miss out on enjoying getting there.

“You don’t play football that long and I want to build something so when I retire I can then enjoy it as well.”

Despite his injury Pollard has been able to play every match so far – the latest a 2-2 draw at leaders Thorpe Athletic on Saturday which saw former AFC Sudbury Academy player Adam Hampson score twice. The latter now has seven goals in six games for a side captained by former Little Oakley player Jamie Dobkin.

There is also plenty of involvement from the Pebmarsh-based Kings Park Fulfillment business in various roles.

“We could not do the football club without the business,” said Pollard.

“One of the boys there is a camera man, three lads play for us, one looks after the social media accounts, one lady even takes the kit to be washed.

“It is a real collective effort and everyone comes in on a Monday talking about how the weekend went and the mood changes depending on it.”

Saturday sees the team with another home fixture, against a pointless Tiptree Jobserve side (3pm).

Pollard also explained the significance of the club crest with a dragon representing the businesses’ Chinese-based partner and the lion for the British base of their global logistic operations.

How it will all pan out for Kings Park Rangers, who knows? But Pollard and his family are certainly going to enjoy the ride while bringing on board whoever wants to come along with them.