Andy Lawrence & Ian Price (October 2005)

When a season ticket holder at Birmingham City and a season ticket holder at West Brom form an alliance to co-manage a junior football team, you may think that things are naturally heading for trouble, the team will fall apart, they'll end up trading blows, and all manner of things. Now in a remarkable sixth season together for 2005-6, having started to jointly manage a small group of lads at Under 8 in the 2000 - 2001 season, Andy and Ian have progressed as joint team managers into 11 a-side with a remarkable lack of aggravation. Far from it, the partnership of the laid back Accountant and Blues fan (Andy) and the ever-so-slightly more "impassioned" (fiery!) Carpentry business boss and Baggies fan (Ian) seems to have worked a treat, certainly for the team they have managed, retaining most of those lads they started with at Under 8, and now in their fifth successive season as a Division 1 team looking to do better each year. Both are clearly avid football fans, and are ex-players themselves, Ian being a midfielder, with probably a bit of a love for tackling, and Andy the goalkeeper with the safest pair of hands in Wombourne (or so the rumours have it)! By some stroke of luck and good sizing up of people six years ago, it seemed like they were the most obvious people to approach to look after, manage and coach a set of boys who showed early promise as footballers. Carrying on with this over nearly six years now shows how much they have both enjoyed putting something back into football and, in so doing, help shape the lives of young people who will grow up better for having had the time and attention which Ian and Andy have given to them. They would both acknowledge the help given over the years by some of the other enthusiastic Dads of players in the team, notably Gavin Wyatt, who completes the set of Midland fans as a Wolves addict, with his lad supporting the Villa!? More recently, Simon Pinfold has joined the volunteer coaching set up in Ian and Andy's team. Quite how an avid Everton fan and season ticket holder could fight his way into the Midland fraternity is anyone's guess. Ian's son Tom is the same sort of hard-tackling, competitive midfielder as his Dad, and Andy's son Jamie has also followed in his Dad's footsteps in being, for five of the six seasons, the team goalie. Ian, as a Carpenter would probably say they are "chips of the old block" !!!!!! (Sorry!). The club would of course like to say a big thank you to Ian and Andy, to wish them all the best for hopefully many seasons to come (Senior football beckons !), and echo the gratitude of the players and parents who respect their drive and determination, and also their sense of enjoyment, in coaching, and in volunteering so much of their personal time.