Forty hours a week to manage in Ridgeons League

TREVOR Wardlaw managed in senior football circles for over 20 years.

But now manager of Kingsley Healthcare SIL Division Two side Claydon he’s says that enough’s enough.

“It takes up all your own time – around 40 hours a week – to manage a Ridgeons League side,” said Wardlaw, who earned himself a reputation as an extrovert and successful leader of men.

“It’s getting harder and harder for anyone with a run of the mill job to take it on.

“I had a long stint and it burnt me out, and I’m happy now to operate at a lower level.”

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Wardlaw previously managed Stowmarket Town, East Bergholt, Framlingham Town, Old Newton, Ransomes Sports and worked with Mel Aldis at Debenham.

“I’m semi-retired football-wise and I’m enjoying it,” he added.

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“Don’t get me wrong it still hurts just as much when we lose, and I’m desperate to win every match – that does not go out of you.

“But Ridgeons League clubs will find it increasingly harder to get managers, with most of the jobs increasingly taken by those involved in the leisure industry.

“Players used to turn up 30 minutes before a game, and then in my time an hour. Now it is 90 minutes and it has all become so time consuming.

“There will never be a shortage of those who fancy being a manager, but they will be in for an almighty shock as there will never be a day – hardly any hours – off from football duties on top of a full time job.”

Wardlaw feels that clubs will also find it difficult to find people to take on secretarial roles, and that the way forward for Ridgeons League clubs is to put down artificial pitches.

“This is happening more and more in London among senior clubs, and it then allows stadiums to be used 24/7 as a means of accruing much-needed revenue.”

Wardlaw is joint manager of mid-table Claydon with Mark Keeley and they have fought their way to the quarter-finals of the Suffolk Junior Cup where they play Leiston St Margarets.

“With the experience I have I’ve been able to bring in good people around me,” added Wardlaw.

“But if someone came in and said they were prepared to take over and put in 40 hours each week for Claydon I would welcome them with open arms.

“Its lighter duties for me, but as I say I have not lost the desire to win even though that side of me may have not have been noticed by some people behind my keenness to have fun.”

Wardlaw looks back on running Stowmarket as the pinnacle of his managerial career – so far!

“It was a proud moment when I was appointed because there were some high quality applicants for a club with wonderful credentials and history,” he explained.

“And I like to think that I did not let down those who had faith in me with three top six finishes in the Premier Division.

“When Stowmarket beat Cornard 13-0 in the First Division last month I was at the club and was told that I never led the team to a win that big.

“But I never managed them at that low a level!”

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