AN ISLE of Wight football club steeped in more than 65 years of history — Oakfield — are set to return to the Island League with two teams after folding less than two seasons ago.

The Slade Road club in Ryde were forced to drop out of Division 1 of the Island League, after establishing themselves in it the season before, following a runaway promotion season in Division 2.

They took voluntary relegation last season in a bid to rebuild and eventually mount another promotion campaign, but folded last September. 

After seeing their side get hammered in the opening three fixtures, Oakfield were forced to forfeit the next five, unable to field a side, so took the difficult decision to dissolve.

Oakfield used the relegation as an opportunity to rebuild and mount another promotion campaign — but it just never happened.

When the club — established in 1957 — folded last year, after many of their players left the club, many of their supporters still felt confident Oakfield would eventually return.

And so they have... but the club is seeking local sponsors.

How you can help sponsor Oakfield Football Club

The club is looking for any sponsorship support to aid its first season back, so if you can help or know anyone who would like to help, please get in touch via the club's email. Here's the LINK

On their Facebook page, club spokesperson Conor Venn said: "We are excited and very much looking forward to returning to Island football for the 2024-2025 season."

They will field a first team in Division 2 and a reserve outfit in Combination 2.

"Between now and the start of the new season, we will ensure Oakfield Football Club is back and stronger than ever.

"There has been a lot of important work and discussions taking place behind the scenes — both in securing and strengthening our position on and off the pitch.

"Over the coming weeks, we will have further discussions, with exciting plans to look forward to with several parties, that we're sure will only reinforce this."

Oakfield has an impressive history. They were the last Island League club to win the Isle of Wight Gold Cup, back in 2001, and were, between the late 90s and early noughties, an unstoppable force in the Island League and in cups.

"With Oakfield Youth on board and a good, experienced committee behind us, the club can move forward and, fingers crossed, we'll get it right this time," said chairman, Geoff Dutch.

Pre-season training at Slade Road starts on July 3 at 6.30pm. Players of the past and new welcome.