Graham Avery (July 2009)

Back in May 2005 my eldest son was asked to try out for Kewford by one of his mates at school. Get yourself down the park Saturday morning for training. Thats when it all started.

Helpful, Interested, enthusiastic, reasonable, these things got me on the way to managing a youth football team. I volunteered to run the line, produced a programme to sell on match days and always gave the lads encouragement. After a season helping out I was asked to step up to the plate to replace the outgoing manager. I attained my FA Level 1 coaching badge and was raring to go. In our first season we decided to try the Stourport league with disastrous effects. We were pitched in the top division and our results really suffered. I learned lesson one of football management, never give up! and then passed this wisdom on to the lads. Since then I have learned that youth football is not only about winning but also about life lessons, good times, good results and bad results, changing personalities and really good friends.

The last two seasons have seen the lads improve greatly in both results and in personal growth. It is great to be just a small part of the process of turning the lads from boys into young men. I have watched some of the current team members change, grow, mature and have hopefully given them some help and advice along the way.

Our football game has developed and we have been complemented many times that we are a really good passing/footballing side. I take great pride from this as I have tried to instill this method of football from the early days and this has paid off in the last two seasons.

From a technical point of view I have no real qualifications so I concentrate on the basics of football and keep it simple at all times. I just enjoy the game of football and I continue learning all the time and the lads have benefitted from that.

If I need plus points I turn to my wife Lisa, never interested in football until our son started playing, since then I get to watch every game I like on tv, in fact she wants to watch them more than me sometimes, we go to every game together, and are both actively involved in the running of the team, a real plus point for the married men out there.

Hardwork it surely is, but the rewards are much much greater. Seeing the lads celebrate a goal, lifting spirits after defeat, longstanding friendships, respect from the lads and parents, a real sense of teamwork not only from within your team but from everyone involved in the Kewford setup.

Outside of Kewford I regularly suffer watching West Brom, I have still got a bathroom to finish after three years trying and one of these days I will get round to going fishing.

Being a manager is a pleasure when I look at the effort and commitment of other members of the Kewford setup. Really dedicated people are on hand to help with kit, pitches, fundraising, paperwork and so much more, and its all this dedication that helps makes things happen where it matters, on the pitch!

I am currently looking forward to my fourth season in charge for 09/10 and could not have done any of it without a quick mention to Lisa, Kev Hillman (coach), John Barratt (coach) and all the parents who help with goal nets, flags etc. It has been an absolute pleasure working with the players, parents and coaches.

If you are contemplating having a go, stop thinking about it and DO IT.

Fun, fun, fun, fun and football.