Ian Pound (March 2006)Ian Pound is, quite simply, in March 2006, the longest serving member of the current committee and team managers. This in itself gives an idea of the background and qualities of a person who has helped shape the club over the last eleven years, the way it operates and its ambitions for the future.
The start of the relationship with Kewford came early in 1995, with Ian taking on the familiar role of team manager for a new Under 9 team - then still playing eleven a-side rather than mini soccer. With a lot of help and assistance from Wendy, his wife, acting as organiser and administrator to the teams, Ian's love of the game, and a desire to do the best he could for the players who came to him, contributed to a longevity in the local game which few can aspire to.
Experience in local football, and common-sense approach to the club, were the major contributors towards Ian being a natural choice for Chairmanship of the club in July 2000. Continuing in that role for four years, Ian was at the helm in guiding the club through a massive transformation, as Kewford Eagles worked its way towards major overhaul for it's future.
Whilst leading the club as Chairman, and taking his eleven a-side teams all the way through from Under 9 to competing at Under 17's, Ian went further with his team management and related club-commitment. When the club achieved Charter Standard status, and the Birmingham County FA decided to create an Under 19 Charter Standard Clubs League in 2004-2005 season, Ian (and his wife Wendy) felt a sense of responsibility towards players who wanted to continue their football at a senior level, even though his own children were no longer playing for the club. Ian naturally took on the role of managing the first Kewford Under 19 team in that inaugural season, as much to help the players as to keep the club moving forward with County FA. As a result, Ian was able to build the reputation of Kewford Eagles FC within County FA circles. This was to such an extent that, in November 2004, he steered the club to achieving Charter Standard Adult Club status through its Under 19 team presence. Then, and again due to his positive contributions within County FA Under 19 meetings, Ian played the key role in getting Kewford further recognition in achieving the County FA Charter Standard Adult Club award, and Regional Adult Club award, both presented at the November 2005 County FA awards evening. No mean feat! Now working with other committee members to further the new senior section within Kewford, and playing a major role in introducing Kewford teams once again to the adult football Kidderminster and District League, Ian shows no signs of letting up in this quest of taking the club forward.
Perhaps one of Ian's biggest contributions in his time with Kewford is in bringing a no-nonsense approach to how the club operates at the day-to-day level. Small issues are kept just that - small! Bigger ones are tackled positively and with a sense of urgency. Ian isn't one to waste time on trivia. He doesn't shirk from the odd bit of conflict when occasion demands. If things need to be said or issues hit head on, Ian hits them head on!
What he does see and recognize are the positive contributions and abilities of others, and will say so when it matters and when it is needed. All these facets have been invaluable to the club. Ian has enough experience to tell anyone that involvement in a junior club can be wearing, emotionally draining, totally frustrating - and sometimes make you wonder just why you bother. He will also be the first to tell you that getting involved in such an organization, in this case with Kewford for many years, or now with the Stourbridge League, can be rewarding and enriching, in a personal sense. Ian has made many contacts over the years through his association with Kewford Eagles, many of them good, some very good, and some he may have binned almost immediately!
Final words. In February 2006, Ian was awarded the title "Black Country Volunteer of the Year" within the Black Country Sports Development arena. This prestigious sporting award was featured locally in the press. Again a further, and very worthy, testament to what Ian has put into the development of girls football within the Stourbridge and District League. Heading up the organising committee of the first ever girls league for Stourbridge and District, and linking up with County FA girls football development, has led to recognition by officialdom of Ian's commitment, contribution and determination. He certainly attends more than his fair share of meetings these days! It has created many more strong bonds for Ian, between the League and County FA, and of course with all the clubs fielding those inaugural girls teams. At Kewford, we sincerely hope that Ian continues to build those relationships within the club for years to come, provides the same common-sense approach to solving problems as he always has done - and continues to be one of the main pillars on which the club goes forward.
Well done Ian - and thank you.