Dicks hails Wivenhoe as 'proper club'
WIVENHOE Town manager Julian Dicks says it has been refreshing to be part of a 'proper club'.Dicks - who returned from his home in Spain to take over the financially struggling Essex club last October - began with a series of heavy defeats, but has slowly turned his young outfit into one that can win matches.
WIVENHOE Town manager Julian Dicks says it has been refreshing to be part of a 'proper club'.
Dicks - who returned from his home in Spain to take over the financially struggling Essex club last October - began with a series of heavy defeats, but has slowly turned his young outfit into one that can win matches.
Victories over Haverhill, Walsham and Wisbech in recent weeks have sealed the club's Ridgeons League Premier Division survival just months after the Broad Lane-based club faced bankruptcy.
The former West Ham left-back said: “This is my first job in football management and it's been refreshing. It's great to welcome the local age group teams and also to see so many families enjoying the game together.
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“The football itself is competitive and the club's ambitious - I wouldn't have it any other way - but we want everyone to be a part of it. Grassroots clubs like Wivenhoe can keep football alive in this country.”
More than 80 years of history was hanging in the balance when Wivenhoe announced that, following Richard Carter's departure as boss, they were in serious debt.
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Wivenhoe Town chairman Carl Callan, himself a new arrival at Broad Lane, explains what went on behind the scenes prior to Julian Dicks' shock appointment.
“I think our financial troubles over the last couple of years have been well documented. To be frank mistakes were made. The club was not being properly looked after financially and more needed to be done to bring the community on board.
“There's no escaping it, Wivenhoe is a small place. In order to survive the football club needs to reach out and make its excellent facilities available to all. The club's new board have come a long way in a very short time and the secret to that is looking beyond just the first team - important though it is.”
The Wivenhoe match day crowds have held up well throughout a difficult season and the loyalty of regular fans has been matched by the backing of local businesses keen to do their bit for the cause.
Cedrics Coaches have kindly supplied transport for away trips in return for kit sponsorship, Passmores solicitors have given many hours of free legal advice to help put the club on a more secure footing, while the club website thanks a number of other kind contributors.
“Nobody wants the Dragons to be dependent on the whim of one rich sugar daddy,” said Callan. “Too many clubs have taken that road and it's not a healthy one to go down. It tends to wreck the club in the long term and distance it from the very community it exists to serve.
“We've still got a lot to do behind the scenes during the closed season, but I'd love to hear from other individuals and groups who want to back our vision by kindly donating their time or money.
“We'd also love to welcome more children's sports clubs up to Broad Lane. Those who have been to meet Julian and the team this year really enjoyed the experience.”