‘Phenomenal’ changes excite Staveley boss
Staveley Miners Welfare boss Brett Marshall says the work that has gone on behind the scenes at the club has been ‘phenomenal’ – and that now he’s desperate to see his team playing football again.
The COVID-19 pandemic saw Welfare play just six games last season, all away from home due to work going on to install a new 3G pitch and improve the facilities at Inkersall Road.
And whilst the inactivity has at least enabled those works to continue, Marshall is now keen to be able to concentrate on the playing side once again.
He said: “What Terry [Damms, club chairman] has overseen at the ground has been phenomenal and will be great for everyone.
"It was hard last season, not just because of the shorter, stop-start nature of it, but because we couldn’t play at home nor could we get together properly in the clubhouse or anything like that on a social level.
"But from now on it’ll be very different given the restrictions are lifted so we can’t wait to get back there.”
In terms of the football itself, Staveley are among the clubs eligible to apply for what the FA class as an ‘upward movement’ as part of the National League System restructuring being carried out in the coming weeks.
That’s largely down to their strong showing in the 2019/20 season giving them a favourable points-per-game average over the last two campaigns, one of the key methods of deciding which clubs can apply.
But Marshall said clubs need to be careful what they wish for when considering their next move, adding he’d be content to see Staveley remain in the Northern Counties East League.
He said: “The geographical boundaries of the new divisions could lead to some massive trips, particularly for clubs based in our kind of area – we could be the northernmost teams in the southern divisions or vice-versa.
"We’re ‘fourth best’ when the PPG is taken into account which is about right, and fair play to the three above us if they want to make the move, but I’d be happy remaining where we are and having a good push for promotion next season.
"The sooner we know, the better though because it’s important to be able to plan accordingly.”