We have reached that time of year when on behalf of Worsbrough Bridge AFC I want to wish all supporters, sponsors, players and management teams across the club a happy and healthy festive period.
I know how hard every single person associated with the club works, it is not always easy, but we are brought together by the love of this fantastic club. 100 years ago we were formed and it is a huge privilege to be the current custodian of the club. To celebrate this milestone in Germany this summer and hold our Centenary event at the club before our recent game against Parkgate have been real highlights, especially to meet and see so many former players, managers and officials from the past and listen to so many great stories from our rich history.
We have a very special group of managers and players across all levels from 1st team, Development, Ladies and Juniors and I want to say a massive thanks to all of those people – we often forget how much time and effort managers and coaches give for often very little reward, but they do it because they love the game.
For our 1st team, the first half of the season has at times been difficult, but Luke and his players have shown huge character and determination to fight back from a start that yielded 3 points from our first 9 games. I know some people both inside and outside the club were asking questions but we had to stick with our believes and trust in what we are doing, the performances showed signs that we were not a million miles away from starting to pick up points and it is massive credit to Luke and his players that they showed some real “Barnsley Grit” to pull ourselves to a healthier position. Football, even at our level is driven by results and we all understand that supporters want to be entertained and watch winning football. Sometimes as a board we have to make decisions and not everyone will agree with them, but I have always acted in the best interests of the club and that is why it is important to stay level-headed and keep believing in what Luke and his players are doing – they deserve real credit for sticking to the task. We still have plenty of hard work to do and there will be ups and downs along the way, but we will remain positive and a look at our recent form as a reason to be optimistic for the second half of the season. I get the chance to see this group of players week in and week out both at training and in games and I know how much it hurts when they don’t play as well as they are capable and when they don’t win games.
In Paul Jackson (U23s), Carl Pilkington (U21’s) and Darren Murray (U18’s) we have 3 excellent Development team managers and it has been great to see players making the step up throughout these teams, in particular the numbers of players stepping from U18’s to U21’s – it gives us real believe that we have some good talented players coming through. It has also been good to see Megan Davies step into her first full season as Ladies Managers, it is a tough gig and there has been a mixture of good wins and bad defeats but as things start to settle I am confident the Briggers Ladies will be a match for most teams in their league. We have talked a lot over the last couple of seasons about growing our Junior teams and both Sean Crowcroft (U16’s) and Ade Barnard (U13’s) have put together good young teams, and with other teams looking to join our set up next season we will be in a stronger place again next season.
When teams are winning the job of a Manager and Chairman is easy and trust me we are not immune to criticism and it can be hurtful, but when times are difficult you have to step up to the plate and dig in. It is often easy to criticise and some of the criticism and people where the criticism comes from is sometimes difficult to take.
I have said on many occasions that we are always looking for people who want to put in the time and effort to help improve the club and I would urge anyone who feel they can keep taking the club forward to get in touch with me.
I want to finally pay tribute to our fantastic sponsors and supporters. I know how difficult it is financially for people and businesses, so to continue to have the support we have had this year takes a very special group of people. We will never take you for granted and continue to appreciate everything you do for our club.
On behalf of everyone at the club I want to end by wishing you all a great festive period and a happy and healthy New Year. Only together can we succeed and we have much to be proud of, we are in my opinion a better club now than have been for a number of years and we have only become that “better” club by having a common purpose with a vision for a better future. Keep “Backing The Briggers” and once again thanks for your support in 2022.