Words from our new Director of Football:
It’s great to be involved in senior football after 15 years with Stanway Rovers YFC as a coach of teams from U7s to U18s – as well as being chairman for the past 11 years. I’m a Stanway lad, so being part of this wonderful club is a real pleasure. My thanks to the club committee for appointing me as Director of Football, and also my best wishes to all at Stanway Rovers Youth as I’m stepping down from my role as chairman and will finish coaching my youngest son’s team at U16s in the coming months.
I see the Director of Football role as a continuation of what has been implemented throughout the youth setup during the past 15 years, with a vast number of lads going on to play semi-pro football. Now, under the leadership of Dave Jones and Kevin Mather, there is a clear pathway for players to progress their football careers with Stanway Rovers which (for one reason or another) wasn’t there in the past. We have an excellent management team already in place with manager Danny Slatter, assisted by coaches Adam Munn and Craig Hughes, and my role will be to support those boys whilst putting in place a structure from U13s to U23s which will see some really exciting, talented local lads progress to the first team. We also have a fantastic girls setup that is priming itself for a ladies team so there is a real prospect of Stanway Rovers Ladies playing alongside the men at The Hawthorns in the not too distant future – all of our sides are brimming with local talent which makes that prospect all the more heartening.
The message is clear and the outlook is full of potential; I think anybody who knows Stanway Rovers understands that my appointment has signalled a change in the wind. Maybe the sleeping giant has finally awoken? Who knows? There’s a couple of clubs around who could be that, but I firmly believe the combination of our senior sides, our youth setup and the Stanway community makes us a different prospect. Stanway Rovers are capable of being big hitters in the non-league scene; the club can attract key individuals and organisations, and it’s my job to unlock its footballing potential and give it a real go. I’ve received some great support already, and I know that there’s some real diamonds within the club who can help with infrastructure and knowledge. I am always eager to hear opinions as my football background has largely been about that, so I’ll be listening and taking on board the best bits with the mission of driving the club forward. It’s a really exciting time!
We have been working on a number of different projects over the past season – all of which will have a positive impact on Stanway Rovers FC. It may look quiet from the outside but, believe me, it’s bustling on the inside! There will be some significant announcements in the near future.
It’s fair to say that the new football season will be full of trepidation, with a lot of clubs simply not knowing what the future holds. It makes it incredibly hard to commit to something when you don’t know whether the season is going to finish or whether there will be severe restrictions on your income. As a consequence, we will have to plan carefully with a lot of consideration ahead of the start of the new campaign and we will have to adapt following every piece of news. Have no doubts, though, that Stanway Rovers will be looking to hit the ground running when the 2021-22 season commences. The bigger picture, however, is that we are looking forward to a safe season of football which will enable us to welcome back our growing support base which was up 30% last season, as well as some normality returning to life.
The players and the coaching staff can see the brighter days ahead, and we’re all chomping at the bit for a few end-of-season competitive fixtures and the start of the new campaign. Never again should anyone take some green grass, a football and a bit of sunshine for granted!
Take care and stay safe, Andy