Harriet Croxton talks to our Club Secretary, Paul Davies.
So here we are, it’s Friday and I know that means you’re at the club getting ready for the weekend.
How does Friday start for you – what’s for breakfast?
As is the case on most days, it’s cereal, toast and marmite and fruit.
Quite right – rude to not start a day with Marmite. Washed down with a coffee?
I generally wait to the get to the club and get a coffee there. Sharon will make it for us if she’s there.
And what goes on at the club on a Friday?
I help Keith blow up the football and make up the junior goals. We inspect all the pitches, particularly in the bad weather, and I will update the news section of the website so the coaches have the chance to forewarn visiting teams that there may be an issue. I will answer any emails and when all that’s done we’ll solve some of the world’s issues over another coffee. Once I’m out of there I’ll have a drive around and check over the other local pitches we use.
And then a bit of time off before you have to go back on a Saturday?
Yes, Saturday is an earlier start. I’ll generally arrive around 07.30 and open up the clubhouse and school and put out signage. I’ll conduct a pitch inspection and update the website again if necessary. Should we have cancellations I call all the relevant coaches and this can take up to an hour. Assuming all is going ahead, I’ll get out all the footballs and goals for the Junior Rangers. Then Sharon will treat us to a bacon and egg bap.
And what does the rest of the weekend hold?
Generally I’m away form the club between 1-2pm depending on when the last kick off is. I can then relax and enjoy some proper sport on TV, like Rugby – I don’t watch football! Later we might have a meal with friends and Sunday we try and catch up with the new grandson, who is just 3 months old.
How much other time across the week do you spend on the club?
I’m always back there on a Monday for 3-4 hours; I check over the pitches and deal with any discipline issues that have occurred over the weekend – and drink some more coffee. I get around 20 emails a day from coaches and the league etc so they take an hour or two every day to work through. And there is often someone working from home willing to talk some more football – and drink some more coffee! 🙂
How did you get involved in the club in the first place?
My son joined around 1993, aged 10, which was the youngest age group at that time. During that first season I made the mistake of wearing a tracksuit and trainers and I was immediately ‘volunteered’ to help out. Many of our current coaches will understand how that works as I got my own back many years later. [HC] Oh yes, this is the main reason my husband turned up in flipflops for two years! I ran his team until they were U15 when he stopped playing. I then qualified as a referee and did that for a while and then got involved in the Saturday morning set up. The rest history really, I became secretary in 2009.
Wow that’s a long time and all sounds like a lot of work. Lucky you’re retired! What did you do before retirement?
I was an accountant at British Airways for 37 years. Much less hard work than the football club!