The last few years Unicol has been quite static. We have played middle of the road football, there has been no perceivable movements between squads, players haven’t seen the need to turn up to training, in some cases they muck around during games and there has been an us versus them attitude prevalent in some teams and with some players.
I believe four significant things have happened since the club AGM that have set us on the right path though.
1. We have a committee that has more energy and purpose than we have seen in a while.
2. We have a new coaching set-up capable of driving us in the right direction.
3. A significant number of last years Men’s Federation team has returned.
4. The majority from last years women’s teams have left.
Our overall aim is to return to the Northern League in both Men’s and Women’s divisions, and to be competitive there. This requires far more structure than it did in the 1980’s and 1990’s, when Unicol was a force to be reckoned with. To facilitate these goals, we now have a Player Code of Conduct and Club Protocols to guide all club members (players, coaches and managers alike). With these we have outlined the club expectations of players from training to catering after match functions to movement between squads.
Some of the outcomes Unicol will aim for this season are that we build depth in both the women’s and men’s sides. That club members are professional in their approach to training and playing. Players are rewarded for outstanding efforts by earning game time in higher divisions, players are afforded time to recover form, playing in lower divisions, and overall players accept that this is the way forward for them and the club.
This change has to be led from the top, from the committee and the coaches. This is a rare opportunity for the club to start afresh, particularly with the development of youth player pathways in the women’s divisions.
This is an exciting time for the club, it is a chance for everyone involved to be on the ground floor as we build a legacy we can all be proud of. So with that, welcome to all new players and coaches and welcome back to all the returning club members.