Six years ago, Spencer Mann and Sam Taylor, then still in their Reception year at school, came along to the inaugural 'Feeder Group' football coaching sessions, towing their Dads behind them. At that time they were a year early, and so, when the sessions ended that summer, they waited patiently for the next Feeder Group the following year, when they could develop their skills even more and join the Under 7's for real.
Phil, Spencer's Dad, and Steve, Sam's Dad, being football players themselves, may have had an idea what was coming when they came along to the parent meeting - and in truth, didn't take much persuading when it came to the big question - who will coach and look after the team. Initially Phil was a co-manager with another volunteer who subsequently moved on, and Steve willingly stepped into the co-management gap during the Under 7 to Under 8 transition. Now in their fifth season (2006-7) and looking after the team at Under 11, it's a good partnership, and Phil and Steve are rightly pleased with, and proud of, the fact that the great majority of original players and parents, from the days of the Feeder Group, are still with them as they have moved into the 11 a 'side game. As Phil states, its not only the players who have formed good friendships but the parents also, as they enjoy good social gatherings on a regular basis, and certainly enjoy the annual club Summer Ball!
Good relationships, good coaching and a caring attitude towards the players themselves have been very important in the success of the team, and Phil and Steve certainly bring those attributes to their approach to team management.
Also, it's nice to have some praise back to the club from Team Managers. From Phil . . . "Kewford provides the structure and support to allow me to get on with running the team and providing the lads and parents with what they need. I think without this I would not have the time or dedication to continue. It is a very well run club". Thanks Phil, much appreciated.
There is no doubt that managing and coaching a team takes time, effort and dedication. Again from Phil, "I do enjoy training the lads and get a lot of satisfaction in seeing them all develop and playing well. It's good to put something back into the game having played myself until I was 41 (when my body said give up) and I can only hope they will get as much enjoyment out of football as I have."
Also, it helps to have understanding partners! Fortunately, for Phil and Steve, Michelle and Caroline are just such people!
There are always things to be fitted in around football at Kewford. Work for one! Other leisure pursuits as well, such as hefty bike-riding trips and charity fund-raising, as well as probably having more time to do those all-important jobs around the house! Yes, Kewford can be time-consuming. But it's all done for the best possible reasons, which is why both Phil and Steve still carry on. They enjoy it, the parents enjoy it, and most importantly of all, the players enjoy it.
Well done to Phil and Steve, and may it continue for many more years yet.