Lee Small & Martin Robins (December 2006)

Lee and Martin's team epitomises everything that is very good about adults volunteering their time for youth football. It is true of nearly all teams of adults, as they come together for the first time for the sake of their children, that not everyone will hit it off with each other, and not everyone immediately settles into a 'groove' of working together for the benefit of the people that matter - the players. The real test for adults and parents is whether or not they can overcome any obstacles for the sake of the children under their care. If they can, they often become a stronger unit, with a greater understanding of each other. This is what has happened with Lee and Martin's team and group of parents. Certainly, if forming strong friendships and having lively team 'socials' is a yardstick for success, their team is up there amongst the best.

They are backed by strong characters within the parent ranks, and openly state their thanks for that backing - from people such as Brett and Liz, Nadine and Helen, John Gidlow and now, more recently, John Holmes, all of whom work tirelessly for the team and club, and all have club roles. 

From Lee's perspective, early misgivings about getting too involved were soon overcome, and he echoes many coaches when he says "My own team, now in its last season of mini-soccer, gives me great joy, as most of the boys are still with us from the first season. To watch them develop into young talented footballers makes me immensely proud". This season, Lee, becoming more and more involved in the club over the years, became our Club League Secretary dealing with the Stourbridge League, and thus became a committee member himself. Again, from Lee, "I always felt a need to do a little bit more for Kewford, as a club as huge as ours is run by a relatively small number of hard working people"

From Martin's point of view, he shares exactly the same ideas and ideals as Lee for bringing the children forward, as well as helping the parents, if and where possible, to also enjoy the experience. As he says, "With the Feeder Group, working with the children is enjoyable, and trying to get the parents to join in their child's fun can be just as rewarding".The welfare and development of the children is naturally Martin's main focus. "I help at other events for the club because it helps the children.  A childhood only comes once, and every moment of that childhood should be as special as we can make it". Martin has become a major club helper in the last few years, and has recently taken on many of the Head Groundsman tasks in keeping the Scout Field, our main home, pitch-marked and tidy. 

As with all Team Managers and Club Committee members, Lee and Martin give thanks to their partners - Nadine and Helen. Endless hours in meetings or at the Scout Field can become a drain on relationships, but both Nadine and Helen get very involved also, and so understand exactly where they are coming from. Lee also wants to thank Helen especially for his beer money when he goes to the club meetings!!  Errrr, Lee, it's your round at the next meeting! 

One last thing. The results for the team may not have always gone to plan. Lee and Martin's lads, Ben and Liam, playing in the same team over the last 4 seasons, have improved their games tremendously, as have their team mates, and they can all put in some great performances - but the main thing is, they enjoy it, no matter what the result!  Over the years, Lee and Martin have realised that winning isn't everything. They have looked after a nice bunch of lads, within a great bunch of adults, and have themselves grown, as well as helping young men of the future grow in an atmosphere of support, teamwork and encouragement. The players couldn't ask for more. Well done Lee and Mart. Terrific volunteer work for the team, the club and the community as a whole.