Chairman fears for long-term future

DAVE Morgan, Achilles chairman for 25 years, fears for the long-term future his club.He says that as the workload increases for clubs, the number of people prepared to tackle the jobs decreases.

By Elvin King

DAVE Morgan, Achilles chairman for 25 years, fears for the long-term future his club.

He says that as the workload increases for clubs, the number of people prepared to tackle the jobs decreases.

“And if we get relegated at the end of the season it will not improve the situation,” said Morgan, a fit and agile 70-year-old.

Morgan's long list of duties for home matches at Salmet Close shows the dedication needed to keep clubs at Achilles' level functioning.

And quite understandably he is concerned about the future.

Most Read

“I am a realist, and I look at the Nicholians situation,” said Morgan. “They were arguably the most successful amateur football club in Ipswich in the 20th century.

“But when stalwarts Doug Winney and Arthur Eley reached retirement age and handed over their duties, the club started a slide that ended with them disbanding.

“We could follow suit if we fail to attract fresh people to help run the club and replace those who have to 'hang up their boots'

“It is much harder to run in the town than in the country where football clubs are often the centrepiece of the village and part of the community.

“The problem does not just affect football, but other sports and past times as well.”

With the FA and the SIL demanding more from clubs with the introduction of fresh regulations like child protection, Morgan added: “It is by no means a certainty that Achilles will still be running in ten years' time.”

1 Sign-in visiting team, put out corner flags, check dug-outs - clean if necessary.

2 Unlock gates in St Joseph's and Stone Lodge Lane fences and the two on each side of the clubhouse.

3 Leave five programmes in each dressing room and three for the match officials - plus one copy of the flyer advertising the match sponsor. Leave with officials a chit for match fees and a stamped, addressed envelope. Take remaining programmes round pitch when game starts.

4 Welcome officials and prepare pre-match pot of tea and biscuits.

5 Set up boiler, tea pots and cups for half-time drinks for players and officials - sell remainder to spectators.

6 Collect trays and cups from dressing rooms as second half begins. Keep plastic cups to wash and use again if in good order.

7 Take collecting box or Achilles' cap around pitch after about ten minutes of second-half.

8 At end of game lock all gates, collect corner flags and tidy dug-outs.

9 Telephone Metaltec SIL scoreline or get managers to do so on their mobiles.

10 Go into visitors' dressing-room and thank them for game.

11 Pay match officials, note each of the three fees, plus expenses and mileages.

12 Return to main lounge and attempt to sell, at least two pub cards (one £1 - win £20; one 50p - win £10).

13 Sweep dressing rooms, corridor and tidy up kitchen.

14 Sit down and have a drink or two - then go home, or collapse!

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter