Chairman is happy, but looks to the future

DRASTIC and sweeping changes have paid dividends for Barnston AFC as they have “exceeded expectations,” according to proud club chairman John Farrow.

Speaking to the Dunmow Broadcast during a rest period for the Blues’ squad, as they had no league fixture last weekend, he reflected on what has been a superb season so far and how things are shaping up for the future.

“We have exceeded my expectations so far this season and I see no reason why that shouldn’t continue after many years in the doldrums.

“At the end of last season, the decision was made to make drastic and sweeping changes to breathe new life into the club and its teams.”

Those changes included a shift from the Essex Olympian League to the Essex and Suffolk Border League and bringing in a new first team manager, Leighton Williams.

“It all became a bit samey,” said Mr Farrow. “Playing the same teams year after year and getting the same results again and again.

“We felt that a different league would give the players new challenges and didn’t mean that we were travelling to our matches, knowing what the result was going to be before we had even kicked a ball.

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“In a different league, we came with no baggage. No one knew us and we didn’t know anyone else, so there were no preconceptions.”

A new management structure is now in place at the club with Williams, who was installed in June 2010, overseeing selections for the first and reserve teams.

The reserve team is ran on a match day by duo Neil Rivett and Pete Monk with the aim to ensure that both teams get a similar side out every week and that squads are run professionally.

“Looking to the future,” said Mr Farrow “My hopes and aspirations for our immediate future have changed and I believe that third place is achievable. My longer term goals are for Barnston to enjoy a period of success and to move forward with promotion being the target for next season.

“We hope to attract new and better players to the club and retain them enabling us to achieve higher standards throughout.”

Williams, Rivett and Monk have all been awarded with manager of the month gongs over the past few weeks and elder club statesman Bob Tyler and Bill Fenney who work hard behind the scenes have recently picked up the lifetime achievement award and veterans award respectively from The Dunmow Broadcast Sports Awards.

Mr Farrow added: “All of this adds to the positive buzz going around the club and I feel they are good indicators of the direction in which we are going.

“My thanks go to all of our management committee, the team managers and the players for supporting me and our club through some tough and at times unpopular decisions.

“This season has been our season for change and I sincerely believe that if we rise to the challenges before us. Our future will be bright and positive.”

- The club held a very successful race night on Saturday evening and raised �800. The money will go towards maintenance, equipment, kit and facilities for seniors and the youth section.

Next: Barnston host St. Osyth on Saturday. Kick off 3pm.