WAFC Red
10 years ago
2 days ago
40
 
Hello all, and welcome to my new career as manager of my local side, Workington Reds; and my attempt to bring glory to West Cumbria!
Formed in 1921, the Reds were part of the Football League for 22 years between 1955 and 1977. My eventual aim will be to return them to the EFL and become the third Cumbrian club to occupy a place in the top four leagues, alongside Carlisle United and Barrow.
2022/23 saw the club gain promotion from Northern League Division One via the play-off's, so my short term aim will be to keep us in the NPL and build upwards from there.
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Club Info

 

upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/60/WAFC-L...
 

Full name

Workington Association Football Club

Nickname(s)

The Reds

Founded

1921; 103 years ago

Ground

Borough Park, Workington

Capacity

3,101 (500 seated)

League

Northern Premier League - Premier Division

2022/23

3rd - Northern Premier League - West Division (Promoted via play-off's)

Kits

Home
Away

 

 - We will be competing in four competitions this season. I'm not bothered about the Northern League cup and will use that to give my fringe players a game, but certainly a run in the FA Cup and/or FA Trophy would be great, the prize money would be useful too.
 
Board Objectives
 - Nothing specific from the board for this season, just to try and keep the team up and do as well as we can in the cups.

 

Initial Squad
 - Pretty good basis to work with here, some good players who should be solid at this level, with the amount of central midfielders I have, I'm thinking 4-3-3 could be a sensible option to begin with, possibly a diamond shape when I want to really shut things down in the middle. We shall see how pre-season goes. I will be looking to bring in a few reinforcements to add a bit of depth, probably on loan to save money, but I won't be making wholesale changes right off the bat.

 

Manager Profile
 - Finally, here's me! Sunday league rep and no badges.

 

borough-park.jpg
Borough Park, sitting on the bank of  the River Derwent

 

Mak Jenkins
6 years ago
1 week ago
1
Premium

Used to live in Workington. Will be nice to see how you get on!

Joe Parkinson
3 years ago
4 days ago
1
Premium

Not to far from you, in Penrith. Wishing you every success 

WAFC Red
10 years ago
2 days ago
40

 

 

@Mak Jenkins @Joe Parkinson - Thanks guys, I'm near Cockermouth rather than Workington, but I've been going to Reds games regularly since moving to Cumbria last year. Thanks for commenting and keep reading!

Apologies for the delay in getting going here, I've had a hectic week or so. I'm now ready to begin this save properly though.

 

 

Tuesday 4th July 2023

Friendly

Whitehaven Amateurs 

There wasn't much preparation time for me to work with my squad ahead of this one, coming just 24 hours after I was appointed Reds manager. Given those circumstances, I don't think things could have gone much better as we made the fifteen-minute drive South, down the Cumbrian coast to Whitehaven. 

Tactically I kept things nice and simple, which is always a good idea at this sort of level, highly technical and complicated instructions don't tend to work very well in non-league football.

I'm pretty pleased with the squad I've inherited, the core of it at least. We are well-stocked in the central positions and the midfielders share good chemistry. I am in the market for a new left-back and cover for the wingers, though I've not had enough time to sort anything out yet.

 

My team played well and created chances in a manner befitting of a side four tiers above the opposition;

Three of our four goals came from outside the penalty area and were all scored by midfielders. Bobby Carroll, Brad Hubbold, and  Cieran Casson all fired home from a distance. Winger Kitt Nelson also netted, albeit from a closer distance.

Next up, we take on Northern League Division One side Carlisle City at home. I will probably ease one of the attacking players into a support role to maintain balance against the improvement In opposition quality.

 

WAFC Red
10 years ago
2 days ago
40

3rd - 9th July 2023

 

Monday: My first day on the job! I spend most of the day assessing the squad I have available and deciding which areas of the team will be key priorities regarding transfers. I also begin to set things up tactically, as I mentioned in the previous post, the players know what they are doing on the pitch, so I will largely sit back and let them, making minor tweaks here and there if the need arises. I also work on training and set-piece routines, we have some dangerous aerial threats in the team, and it would be foolish not to try and take full advantage of them.

 

Tuesday: I meet my players for the first time during a team meeting, I outline what I expect from them this season, which is to stay clear of a relegation battle. Their response to this target is a positive one.

After meeting with the squad, it's off to speak to the local media for the first time, I say that I'm delighted to have been trusted to lead my local club and I firmly believe that there is potential here to return to the football league after nearly forty years within the next decade if everyone at the club pulls together.

Finally today, it's onto the team coach for the short seven-mile trip down the Cumbrian coast to Whitehaven for my first experience of football management. Considering I had only 24 hours to plan for this game, things went very well, we ran off 4-0 winners. Full details are in the post above.

 

Wednesday: 

Tired' Workington Reds side suffer disappointing week - cumbriacrack.com
Charlie Birch

After identifying the fullback positions as our biggest weaknesses right now, I have invited two local lads to join the team;

Adam Walton - 20-year-old Adamcan play either right-back or in midfield, it's always handy to have versatile players. A Cumbrian lad, he came through the academy at Carlisle before being allowed to join Kendal Town.

Charlie Birch - Another local lad, 21-year-old left-back Charlie, is no stranger to Borough Park, having made 22 appearances here last season as the club won promotion to the Northern Premier League. He also has experience playing North of the border with Annan in League Two. He left Workington to pursue a football scholarship In South Carolina. Now that he's back in the fold, I believe he will become a key part of the team.

 

Thursday: I have made a loan offer for Queen of the South winger Harvey Walker,  the Doonhamers aren't asking for any wage contribution and just want him to gain experience, so this could be a real win-win for both clubs. 

I've also submitted a loan approach for another player who is plying his trade in Dumfries & Galloway; Liam Short is a right winger for Gretna 2008. He also is available on loan for nothing and would provide a useful backup for Dav Symington on the flank.

 

Friday: Disappointingly, Harvey Walker has rejected our loan offer, it's back to the drawing board for me in the search for a left winger.

I begin tactical preparations for Sunday's trip to Carlisle City.

 

Saturday: Just one change to my starting XI from Tuesday's game at Whitehaven, Charlie Birch goes straight into the line-up for the Carlisle City game.

 

Sunday:

Carlisle City F.C. - Wikipedia

 We have a pretty straightforward time of it against Northern League Division One side Carlisle City (Tier 9) 

Bobby Carroll opened the scoring for the second game running from just outside the box. Versatile target man Steven Rigg netted a brace. He will be an important player for me as he can play up front, central midfield, or even as a central defender if needed!

We had plenty of shots on goal, despite having less of the ball. We were playing quite direct which ceded possession on occasion, so perhaps I will work on my game management and telling my team to bring it down to ground level when we have a comfortable lead to try and avoid inviting unnecessary opposition pressure.

Charlie Birch made a solid start on his return to the club, getting a 7.5 rating as a supporting wingback. Adam Walton also pulled on the red shirt for the first time as he came on as one of my slew of half-time substitutions, he achieved a solid 6.9. 

 

Next Week:

 

Following the game, I began preparing for the next fixture against the other side in Carlisle.

Alongside Barrow, Carlisle United is one of the two professional clubs in Cumbria. United is our affiliate club and plays us in an annual friendly at Borough Park, which is a nice money spinner for us. It will be good to see how my players cope facing a League One side. To prepare I have set up my training schedule to focus on defense.

WAFC Red
10 years ago
2 days ago
40

10th - 16th July 2023

 

Monday: Mostly spent setting up mentoring groups to aid the development of the youngsters I signed last week.

 

Tuesday: I make an offer to James Ford to come in, in a dual role as our head of youth development and first-team coach. Unfortunately, he wanted a lot more than I was prepared to offer in terms of wages and he winds up signing with Halesowen Town instead.

 

Wednesday: Getting ready for tomorrow's visit of Carlisle United, we are expected to lose, so I've changed Connor Tinnion to a support role in central midfield rather than his usual attacking one, I've also changed Dav Symington to a more conventional winger role instead of cutting inside, to keep some width on the left and aid with getting balls into big Steven Rigg up front.

 

Thursday: 

 

A fair showing against a League One Carlisle, we did lose but we certainly weren't embarrassed by the blues, the narrow 1-0 defeat was probably a fair result to the visitors, though we did have some good chances despite only having a third of the possession. 

 

Friday: I praise Finn Wallbank for his performance in training this week, he achieved an 8.1 rating. Finn will be a big player for me in central defense this season.

Saturday: We complete the loan signing of 19-year-old winger Liam Short from Gretna 2008. He will start as a rotation option for Dav Symington and Kitt Nelson, but the opportunity is there for him to establish himself for a starting role if he plays well.

Sunday: We weren't scheduled to play again until next Sunday when we host Bolton Wanderers at Borough Park, I arranged an extra friendly against Isle of Man FC, to take place on Wednesday to help build match fitness before that game. Here are our remaining pre-season fixtures;

Next Week: Pre-season ramps up with us going to a two-game per week schedule as we play host NW Counties League side FC Isle of Man and League One Bolton. I will also be scouting for another winger and perhaps a backup left back to flesh out the squad. That would give me two players for every position.

Badge of Bolton Wanderers
WAFC Red
10 years ago
2 days ago
40

17th - 23rd July 2023

 

Monday: I've invited two local youngsters on board, 20-year-old Lewis Rooks is a dynamic attacking midfielder who came through Carlisle's academy before joining Crook Town in County Durham. James Best is a left-back who plays for our Cumbrian neighbors Penrith on a non-contract basis, so I can lure him away for free.

Tuesday: Getting ready for tomorrow's visit of FC Isle of Man. I intend to be more expansive than we were against Carlisle as we are favourites. I'll be telling Dav Symington to cut in and run at the defenders from his left-wing position, hopefully creating space for Steven Rigg up front.

 

Wednesday: Another morale-boosting victory, 2-0 against our island-dwelling opposition who make the 36-mile journey across the Irish Sea to visit us.

The first goal was route one at its finest, goalkeeper Danny Eccles taking a long goal-kick that was perfectly onto the head of target man Steven Rigg who nodded it into the path of the overlapping Connor Tinnion who burst through the middle to score one-on-one. The second was an absolute stunner from thirty yards or more by Lewis Reilly, who naturally is a forward, however I've been utilizing him as an inside forward out wide so far.

 

Thursday: We complete the free signings of James Best and Lewis Rooks, adding some depth to my squad. Both are on a non-contract basis

There is a minor injury to midfielder Greg McCaragher, he hurt himself sprinting during training. Thankfully he should only be out for a day or two and should be available for the game against Bolton on Sunday.

 

Friday: Training is focused on defending as we gear up for the visit of Bolton on Sunday. Obviously, the League One side are heavy favorites, but I intend to give them a challenge.

 

Sunday: The wobbly Workington headline seems very harsh, we gave the Trotters a fight, naturally they had most of the ball, but we still had a few good chances and scored what I fought was a perfectly good second goal when Camron Gbadebo headed in from a corner with ten minutes to go, it was however ruled out. Goalie Jim Atkinson was in fine form between the posts, pulling off a string of top-class saves.

 

Next Week: We welcome our Cumbrian neighbors to the South, Kendal Town to Borough Park for our penultimate pre-season game. The last time our clubs met it was a 5-0 rout to Workington in the Northern League Division One back in 2019. I would love to repeat that feat against the Mintcakes this week!

WAFC Red
10 years ago
2 days ago
40

24th - 30th July 2023

 

Wednesday: I complete the signing of 19 year old former Preston keeper, Declyn Duggan. Duggie didn't make the grade at Deepdale and spent last season with our fellow Cumbrians, Penrith. He will play in the reserves initially and provide cover for Jim Atkinson and Danny Eccles. I like having the three keepers in the squad just in case of injury. I think that will be my final piece of transfer business before the season starts.

 

 

Thursday: It hasn't been an impressive week on the training pitch, the highest rating anyone achieved was 6.8, I had to have a word with Brad Hubbold about his performance, getting a meager 5.4. 

 

 

Friday: No concerns ahead of tomorrow's game against Kendal, I toy with the idea of testing out Duggan in goal but in the end decide to keep Jim and Danny as I want them as match-sharp as possible before we start the campaign in earnest.

 

With no assistant manager or scouts in order to keep our financial outgoings to an absolute minimum, the monthly recruitment meeting, is just me talking to myself in my office.

 

Saturday: An easy victory over Kendal, It took just 40 seconds to get on the scoreboard, Dav Symington scoring his first goal of the pre-season campaign. Big Steven Rigg headed in a second not long after. Brad Hubbold must have taken on board my criticism of his training performance as he smashed in his second friendly goal. Kendal did have a brief spell of looking threatening early in the second half, pulling a goal back, however, loanee winger Liam Short restored our three-goal cushion on the hour, after that, there was never any doubt as to the result.

 

Sunday: Four of the six favorites to win the Northern Premier League Player of the Season award are loanees! Including our own Kitt Nelson who is on loan to us from Preston. The winger got two assists in the Kendal game yesterday.

 

Next Week: Pre-season wraps up with a hop across the Solway Firth into Dumfries & Galloway to take on Dalbeattie Star. This is the player's last chance to impress me before we begin the league season away at Marske United a week on Saturday. 

WAFC Red
10 years ago
2 days ago
40

31st July - 6th August 2023

 

Monday: I confirm Connor Tinnion will remain club captain. Tinners has made over 330 appearances for the Reds, having joined in 2010 from Carlisle. Brad Hubbold is his vice-captain.

 

Tuesday: My coach Jamie Devitt, reports that our mentoring program has positively affected Camron Gbadebo, Ceiran Casson, and Lewis Moore. Good to hear as we look to build for the future.

 

Wednesday: Not Workington related, but our divisional rivals Bamber Bridge and Hyde have both appointed new managers. Bamber Bridge has made former Newcastle and Norwich South African international Matty Pattison their new head coach. Hyde has swooped to appoint Dave Currie, who was head of youth development at Guiseley previously.

 

Friday: Pre-season concludes tomorrow as we head up to Dumfries and Galloway to take on Dalbeattie Star who are in the South of Scotland League. We're expected to win, so I've increased attacking duties in my usual 4-3-3, Charlie Birch will push forward more from left back and Tinners will be asked to drive through the middle when space allows.

 

Friday: We ended pre-season with a win, though I have to say this was the least convincing of all our friendly performances. the Scots gave us a tough game. It looked as if the game was won when Liam Short fired in for the second game running. However, Star refused to go down without a fight and if not for several good saves by rookie goalkeeper Declyn Duggan, who was making his debut after coming on at halftime, would have salvaged a draw.

 

Here is a quick recap of how we have done in pre-season;

 

I'm very happy, we only lost to superior opposition, both Bolton and Carlisle are in League One, and we gave them both a run for their money.

Here is a look at how my squad performed during the warm-up, I have tried to give everyone 45 minutes in each game to build match sharpness.

Name

Position

Games Played

Goals

Assists

Average Rating

Danny Eccles

GK

7

0

0

6.84

Jim Atkinson

GK

6

0

0

7.08

Declyn Duggan

GK

1

0

0

7.00

Aiden Roxburgh

RB

7

0

0

6.71

Adam Walton

RB

6

0

0

6.82

James Best

LB

3

0

0

6.73

Charlie Birch

LB

6

0

1

7.00

Camron Gbadebo

CB

7

0

0

6.74

Sam Smith

CB

7

0

0

6.81

Finlay Wallbank

CB

7

0

0

6.87

Jordan Little

CB

7

1

0

6.89

Bobby Carroll

DM

7

2

0

6.89

Lewis Moore

DM

5

0

0

6.70

Ceiran Casson

CM

6

1

1

6.98

Brad Hubbold

CM

7

2

1

7.03

Connor Tinnion

CM

7

1

2

7.24

Greg McCarragher

RB / CM 

7

0

1

6.87

Kitt Nelson

RW

7

2

2

7.04

Liam Short

RW

4

2

0

6.97

Lewis Reilly

IF / LW

7

1

1

7.00

David Symington

IW / LW

7

1

3

7.07

Steven Rigg

ST

7

3

2

7.11

Scott Allison

ST

7

1

1

6.70

 

Sunday: The club announced it has sold 220 season tickets for the new campaign.

 

Next Week: 2023/24 finally gets underway as we travel to the Yorkshire coast to face Marske United on Saturday. After an impressive pre-season, I'm excited to get started in earnest, I think we have a good chance of leaving Marske-by-the-Sea with all three points and beginning my reign at Borough Park with a win.

Marske United's emblem

So, on the eve of the new season, here is a quick reminder of what is expected of us;

WAFC Red
10 years ago
2 days ago
40
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7th - 13th August 2023

 

Thursday: Approaching the game against Marske on Saturday I have been considering my first competitive team selection. Bearing in mind the player's performances in pre-season, I have opted for this line-up.

image.png.bf83e74189d328f1627e96ac06510068.png

I think we have a good chance of winning, so I have four players on attack duty, I want Steven Rigg to hold up the ball and underlap with Dav Symington who will be cutting in from the left. Kitt Nelson will act more like a traditional winger and provide width. Connor Tinnion will make runs from deep to support the attack and perhaps overlap with Rigg, whilst Brad Hubbold and Bobby Carroll stay deeper and hold. 

Friday: In my pre-match press conference I'm drawn into tipping tomorrow's opponents as my favorite for relegation. Hopefully, that won't come back to haunt me.

Brad Hubbold again comes under scrutiny for his weak training performance this week. I'm a little disappointed he hasn't upped his game.

 

Saturday: 

image.png.9d3ac301a5da75e66c068aeecfc50a1c.png

We got off to a great start in the NPL, going ahead after just two minutes, Steven Rigg latching onto Kitt Nelson's low cross to score. We continued to threaten and created some good chances, but a serious injury to captain Connor Tinnion affected our flow. Tinners was carried off with damaged knee cartilage shortly before the halftime break, which will rule him out for 6-7 weeks. Certainly not the start to the season he would have hoped for.

The home side did improve in the second half and got their reward in the 51st minute when Jordan Little was adjudged to have pushed Francisco Javier Cabello in the penalty area. Cabello got straight up to convert the resultant penalty. The game fizzled out somewhat after that with limited chances.

Marske manager Didier Agathe wasn't impressed by me picking them for relegation in my presser yesterday, the former Celtic player thinks that we in fact will be going down. 

 

Next Week: I manage at Borough Park for the first time as we welcome Bradford Park Avenue to West Cumbria. 

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WAFC Red
10 years ago
2 days ago
40
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14th - 20th August 2023

 

Tuesday: Physio Caitlin Gribbon updates me that Conor Tinnion is out for 4-7 weeks following his knee injury against Marske.

GMRZIa4XcAkOgH7.thumb.jpg.5e3f5d9083809a3c2f1cf4cbc9267154.jpg

Greg McCarragher and Danny Eccles with the Cumberland County cup the club won last season

 

Thursday: I decided early that Greg McCarragher will be the man to step in for Tinners this weekend against Bradford Park Avenue, Carra is slightly more creative than the other options I possess in Brad Hubbold or Bobby Carroll, and thus is more of a like-for-like replacement for the captain.

Friday: Liam Short has done well in training this week, the winger who signed for us from Gretna in pre-season, achieved a 7.75 rating. I am sticking with Kit Nelson in my first XI tomorrow after his good performance against Marske last weekend, though I will try to give him an opportunity from the bench.

Saturday: A disappointing showing at home to Bradford PA. After a decent performance last week, I was hoping we could follow up with another strong showing, not to be however as the visitors completely dominated us throughout. They scored by some very slack defending at a corner, Charlie Birch only half cleared the cross, returning the ball to the taker, Will Longbottom who cut inside, bearing down on goal. Keeper Danny Eccles should have done far better as Longbottom's tame-looking shot squirmed past him at his near post. 

I gave the team a talking-to at half-time, we were creating nothing and hardly got out of our half of the field. Unfortunately, things worsened almost immediately after the restart as full-back Aidy Roxburgh was sent off for a dangerous tackle. Forced into a tactical shift by the dismissal, I brought on Finn Wallbank and switched to 5-3-1. Target man Steven Rigg tried his best, but he was just too isolated up top to stand a chance of turning the game around. Eccles did well to keep the score down with some good saves to make up for his mistake earlier. But it was a weak performance all around.

image.png.8d2507c7fd7f8feb3cda795eaa47f8b6.png

Sunday: The league table doesn't mean an awful lot a this point, but here it is anyway. The point we picked up in the draw with Marske prevents a slip into the relegation zone. Just to remind you, dear reader, our expectations are to avoid relegation this season.

image.png.11a6380461ff75ba8105f1207c8c3eee.png

Speaking of Marske, we have been drawn to face them in the FA Cup first qualifying round next month.

Next Week: A tough one next Saturday as we travel to Macclesfield, who are amongst the favorites for promotion. 

image.png.c482e93b571b221900f980827d6e1a5a.png
WAFC Red
10 years ago
2 days ago
40
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21st - 27th August 2023

 

Tuesday: 

*NPL Division One West team Avro makes a loan offer for midfielder Ciaran Casson. I consider myself to have good football knowledge and it isn't often I haven't heard of a club in England before, but this is one of those occasions. After a quick Google, I discovered they hail from the Oldham area. Every day is a school day! Anyway, I reject the offer as Ciaran is part of my first team and I don't feel he will gain anything by dropping down a division.

* Aidy Roxburgh accepts his fine following his sending-off against Bradford PA last Saturday. There was no point appealing as it was a justified dismissal for an awful challenge.

Thursday: 

* I've had the team working on transitions and chance creation following our limp display last weekend where we managed just a single shot on target.

Friday: 

* Setting things up for the visit to Macclesfield tomorrow; I have one compulsory change as my summer signing Adam Walton comes in to make his Reds debut at right-back, in place of the suspended Roxburgh who's ban has been extended to three games today.

Macc play in a possession-controlling manner and like to try and play out from the back, which in my opinion is always a risk at this level, so I have instructed the players to close down more and changed Steven Rigg to a pressing forward role for this game in the hope of forcing some mistakes in their defence. I'm also instructing left-back Charlie Birch to be more attacking to hopefully add some firepower in the attacking third which was missing against Bradford PA with Connor Tinnion out injured.

*A feeble training performance by keeper Jim Atkinson, a 4.6 rating for the veteran. He hasn't featured in either game yet, I plan on putting him in for the cup game against Marske next week, but he will have to up his game on the training pitch over the next seven days or I'll stick with Danny Eccles.

LISTEN: Jim Atkinson quits Workington Reds after better offer -  cumbriacrack.com

Jim Atkinson

Saturday: 

* We were expected to lose, however, this was embarrassing; 

image.png.dbf4de842a83d3988b6732b702c3853b.png

Dreadful, from the first minute to the last. We were behind after just 30 seconds, which set the tone for the rest of the game, Macc could have won by even more, being denied by the woodwork several times. John Rooney (Wayne's younger brother) ran the show, scoring once and assisting his teammates twice. I tried several times to stem the tide by making substitutions and changing formations and instructions, but nothing seemed to work as Macclesfield breached our defenses time and again. I can handle losing when we at least have a go, however, this was just lying back and letting them walk the ball around us with minimal effort. I let my displeasure be known in no uncertain terms at full time, not holding back with my criticism. There will be changes as a result of this performance.

We drop to the foot of the NPL with that result. While I don't want to overreact after just three games, I am worried I misjudged the squad that I assessed before the season started to be good enough to avoid a relegation battle based on their performances in the friendlies. I may have a look around for defensive reinforcements as we look very weak.

image.png.8dc6fb0ad6f14ea96a4da1b720d28c54.png

Sunday: 

* The players, quite rightly agree to refund the 69 supporters who made the 360-mile round trip to Macclesfield. I don't remember ever seeing this on FM before.

image.png.19b5bd02a0fbf45cf59afdd007a83ade.png

*I talked to Adam Walton personally after he rated 5.9 on his debut yesterday. I need him to up his game as Aidy Roxburgh is still suspended for another two matches. He disagrees that he played badly despite being the lowest-rated player. Not a good sign.

 

Next Week: 

* Much improvement is needed as we take a break from league action and embark on what will hopefully be a decent FA Cup run. We take on Marske United for the second time this season when we meet in the first qualifying round. We drew 1-1 last time.

Marske United's emblem

 

WAFC Red
10 years ago
2 days ago
40
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28th August - 3rd September 2023

 

Monday: 

*Our monthly staff meeting yields little in the way of workable advice, in terms of backroom staff, there is just myself, coach Jamie Devitt and physio Catilin Gribbon. I would like to hire another coach/assistant manager but everyone I've contacted wants a higher wage than I'm prepared to give.

Tuesday: 

*Weekly injury update from Caitlin; only the one lad on the treatment table currently. Conor Tinnion is between 2 and 4 weeks away from returning from his knee injury.

 

Friday: 

*First of the month, the chairman sends through our financial update;

image.png.f351f9e7687010dbf925bff5afbdcdc8.png

It's a concern to see us lose nearly £18k in a month, especially as I am operating with skeletal backroom staff, non-contract players, and no scouting.

* I've made a host of changes for tomorrow's game, including a formation switch from 4-3-3 to 4-4-2. Only four players (Steven Rigg, Brad Hubbold, Dav Symington, and Sam Smith) keep their places from the drubbing at Macclesfield. I feel we need to freshen things up as we have simply not created anything going forward which has left the fragile defence badly exposed.

image.png.bb82e15f2e934dec917081ead2afa1ae.png

 

Saturday: 

image.png.854256aa05cc24945d0d103e7c9c6c3a.png

*Much, much better! not just the result, but the overall performance, and creativity were greatly improved. having a second forward helped us in transition, with just Steven Rigg to aim for up front we were constantly losing possession and inviting pressure, however with Scott Allison playing off of him in a poacher role, and Dav Symington overlapping from the left flank we countered much more fluidly. 

*21-year-old James Best made his debut at left-back, the former Penrith man got a solid 6.9 rating on his Reds bow.

*We receive £2.25k for winning in the first qualifying round, which goes some way to negate the loss the club made last month.

Sunday: 

*The draw for the next round of the FA Cup is made, we will travel to either North Yorkshire to face Northern League Division One side Guisborough Town, or Derbyshire to take on Ilkeston Town, who are currently third in the same division as us. Our trip to Whitby town has been moved to accommodate the cup fixture.

 

 

Next Week: 

*We have the visit of FC United of Manchester to Borough Park next Saturday with the two sides bookending the Northern Premier League Table, FCM are top, having beaten Bradford PA, Ashton United, and Matlock, whereas we are bottom of the pile with just the one point so far.

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WAFC Red
10 years ago
2 days ago
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4th - 10th September 2023

 

Wednesday: 

*Ilkeston Town defeated Guisborough 2-0 in the FA Cup, meaning we will travel to Derbyshire in the second qualifying round. 37-year-old James Perch, a familiar name to Newcastle, Notts Forest, and QPR fans was on the scoresheet for Ilkeston.

*I've been tinkering with my training routines, the club atmosphere is low at the moment, so I've penciled in some team bonding every week for the next month to hopefully brighten everyone's mood a little.

Friday: 

*Two changes for the FC United game tomorrow. Greg McCarragher comes in at right-back as Aidy Roxburgh still has one game left of his three-game ban and I'm not convinced by Adam Walton yet. Preston loanee Kitt Nelson returns to the line-up having been dropped for Liam Short in the previous game. Goalkeeper Jim Atkinson keeps his place between the posts after his good showing at Marske in the cup and the players remain in a 4-4-2 formation.

Saturday: 

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A cracker of a game, it's just a shame about the result! 

To be fair, my lads responded well after conceding two goals early on, not letting FCU out of reach, Steven Rigg was on form with a brace, and Scott Allison really should have had two as well, he had a golden opportunity to make it 4-4 late on but fired wide whilst clean through on goal. The late penalty put to bed what had been a spirited effort in the second half. We were never likely to beat the league leaders, but we did put up a good fight so I'm happy. Unfortunately, it doesn't help our league position, still propping up the table.

It also can't be ignored that we have conceded five goals for the second consecutive league match. Whilst changing to 4-4-2 has improved things at the top end of the field, we look just as shaky at the back, something that badly needs remedying before we find ourselves cut adrift in the relegation zone.

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Next Week:

*We are back on the FA Cup trail next weekend as we go to Ilkeston's New Manor Ground. The Robins are currently third in the Northern Premier League, whereas we are dead last currently. Can we upset the form book and continue on our cup adventure?

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