It has been a few months since the club caught up with the Briggers Chairman Mark Booth so we sent out our roving reporter Gav Frost for a chat.
GF – What are your thoughts on the FA announcement on the re-start of Grassroots Football and a potential September start date?
MB – I think like most people it is good to get some clarity on the potential start dates at Grassroots level. I am sure everyone will be excited and looking forward to getting started after finishing early last season. I know from talking to managers and players they are buzzing to get started again and I am looking forward to welcoming managers, players and when the time is right supporters back to The Pinto Property Stadium.
From a wider club perspective we will be working hard to make sure we can provide a safe environment for players, coaches and spectators and we won’t be taking safety for granted. It will certainly give clubs at our level bigger challenges than a normal season but we have to dig deep, pull together and remember that we do this because we love the game and want to provide a platform for players to play and supporters to support.
GF – What changes will have to be implemented at The Pinto Property Stadium to maintain the current government guidelines?
MB – In many ways we are fortunate that we share with Worsbrough Bridge Cricket Club as they have already implemented a different way of working which we will be able to either use or adapt. Our Covid-19 risk assessment will mean that players and supporters will have to work with us and help us to maintain a safe environment and behave differently around the ground. We will obviously make sure that we have the right levels of sanitiser, paper towels and other PPE available as well as operating 1 way systems and social distancing. Like most clubs until we have a game we won’t see how this will work but I know that players and supporters will work with us to make sure that we operate within the guidelines and we can all enjoy playing and watching football again.
GF – How have season tickets and membership requests gone down with the current uncertainty around football?
MB – Listen the one thing about football people is that they will continue to support the game and this summer we have had fantastic support from the general public, supporters, players and managers and I am confident that as more certainty comes back we will see that support continue. On a personal level I want to thank everyone that has dug deep this summer, when jobs have been uncertain and money has been tight. Every pound that has been donated or spent has been greatly appreciated.
(You can get you 2020/21 Season Ticket and Membership through our club shop, another new addition for this season!)
GF – How do you think pre-season has gone so far in terms of preparation for a new season?
MB – I think is has been difficult for the managers and players as they have been asked to work differently. Some teams returned earlier than others but the most pleasing thing is that the numbers of players that have committed has been great and sessions have been well attended. The majority of teams have started to sign players which has been fantastic and with new teams joining us this season I can only feel positive about the future.
In terms of our 1st team I know that Lee Morris and Paul Pettinger have been working hard both on and off the pitch and are itching to get some competitive games. I know we have some exciting friendlies to look forward to over the coming weeks so keep your eyes peeled ! From what I have seen in training there is some good players with both a mixture of experience and youth coming through so like everyone else I am looking forward to getting started again.
GF – What would you and the board be happy with from the teams next season?
MB – We want to win games it really is that simple.
We enter Leagues and Cup competitions to be winners so the remit is simple. We know where we are as a club and we are realistic but nobody should be starting a season looking to finish 3rd from bottom or mid-table. Everyone starts with 0 points and I know that we will give it everything we have to be successful. Yes a lot of clubs will have bigger budgets and that will be a massive help to them, but I firmly believe that on any given day any team can beat any other team in the league.
We also want players to enjoy playing for Worsbrough Bridge AFC and have an opportunity to develop to become players for the future. We have a good structure in place with our U21’s and U19’s and with an U18’s and U17’s next season there is a good base for the future.
From the Ladies point of view we know that they will be looking to challenge again after getting themselves into a good position last season, and with the introduction of an U17’s Ladies/Girls team we have started to try and ensure we can progress young ladies through to Open Age football in the near future.
I know that our junior teams will be set up and coached properly which is the most important thing for us as a club. It will be good to see the young boys develop and push on again this season and with a new U15’s and U17’s added this summer we have a lot to be optimistic about.
I want to finally wish everyone a good season ahead and ask for us all to remain safe and well. Covid-19 has shown that we can never take things for granted and I look forward to seeing everyone again for another season of football.