FOOTBALL General Manager and Club Secretary Leon Murray believes 2014 has been ‘fantastic’ and wants Tividale to continue that trend in the New Year.
Tivi won both the Baker Joiner Midland Football Alliance title and JW Hunt Cup respectively in a double winning 2013-14 season and now currently lie 14th in the Evo-Stik Northern League Division One South ahead of tomorrow’s game with Chasetown (KO 15:00).
And Leon believes it’s testament to the hard work over a period time.
He said “These success stories do not happen overnight.
“It’s fantastic how events have materialised over the past 18 months.
“Football is a business where long term strategies, decision making and dedication are of paramount importance. Our youth academy set up is testament to that and Keith, Lloyd, Julia,all our coaches, parents and young submariners can be proud of their achievement.”
And Leon believes the appointment of Ian Long as Joint-Manager in the summer of 2013 has been one of the key ingredients to the club’s recent success.
“Ian has been terrific since he joined the club.
“He’s very meticulous, loves his football and he’s a pleasure to work with.
“He came for an interview, we were impressed by what he had to say and it was great that our choice Stuart Scriven wanted to work alongside him also.
“It couldn’t have worked out better, if I’m honest.”
Scriven left the club in June of this year and Leon paid tribute to his tenure at the club.
“Scriv is a legend here, he always will be after being a fantastic servant and we were disappointed to see him go”
“But, these things happen, situations and scenarios evolve in front of you and making Ian stand alone Manager was the easy choice ahead of the start of this season.
“Richard Colwell (Assistant Manager) has been great working alongside Ian, he’s a talented coach who’s very popular with both staff and players alike.”
Leon believes if Tividale retain their status this season it’s a terrific achievement for all concerned.
“We knew this season would be tough.
“You look at some of the teams playing at this level and you think ‘wow, they’re a big club’.
“Having said that, we like the underdog tag and feel we’ve been competitive so far this season.
“If we achieve our goal of staying in this division then everyone should be extremely proud of the season we’ve had.”
The long serving Club Secretary, who was born and bred in Tividale has seen the highs and lows during his time with the club and says complacency is not an option.
“We have to keep pushing and keep focused because football can be a very cruel game.
“I will not allow people to rest on their laurels and I think the players and staff here are very professional indeed.
“They know we can still improve further.”
Tividale have made several appointments off the field during the course of this season in a bid to continue improving the club structure and says they’ve worked well so far.
“We needed to improve our communication and social media output”
“Steven (Head of Communications) has come in and he’s doing very well.
“Although he’s still young in relative terms, he has vast experience of the media industry as well as being actively involved with football.
“Steven sat down with us and made it clear he wanted to continue and work to improve the good foundations that were already in place from a communications perspective both on and off the field, which is extemely important.
“He’s an easy lad for me, Ian (Long) and the players to deal with, too.”
The club also added Caroline Wells to the new look Media Team as Head of Creativity.
“Caz is a local, she’s bubbly, helps me with the programme and assisted Steven by taking control of the INSTAGRAM feature on our new official Twitter page (@TiviFCofficial).
“We were delighted to get her on board – Caroline and Steven get on well away from their roles, which is extremely important.”
Chris Dudley stood down as Chairman of the club in the Autumn and Leon believes much of the club’s success is down to his good work.
“Chris is another great man and had a terrific work ethic.
“It was a shame to see him stand down and I wish him all the very best for the future – he remains a familiar face here at Tividale Football Club.”
Leon would like to thank the committee, match day helpers and fans for their part in the club success, too.
“The committee have been nothing but unbelievable. In all my years here at the club I have never known a whole committee with so much enthusiasm for the football side of the business. I know that Ian his staff and the players appreciate what they have done.”
“The day match day helpers I won’t mention names as I am sure I will miss someone but you know who you are, have again been absolutely brilliant but we could always do with more. You know my motto – Never turn down help, however small”
“Finally, I’d like to thank the fans and members.
“No football club can operate without its supporters and we’re pleased to have given them some success over the past year or so.
“I wish everyone a happy new year and look forward to our game with Chasetown tomorrow.”