Wardlaw turns on charm at Claydon

TREVOR Wardlaw has lost none of his managerial eccentricity despite dropping down to junior football.

Elvin King

TREVOR Wardlaw has lost none of his managerial eccentricity despite dropping down to junior football.

The man who led Stowmarket Town to the top six of the Premier Division of the Ridgeons League is currently in joint charge of Claydon, who have lost three of their opening four Second Division matches in the Kingsley Healthcare SIL.

He has lost none of his enthusiasm and sense of fun having organised a bus to take his squad the three miles to play Henley. Heaven knows what time they returned that evening, but it was not early with a few hostelries no doubt visited along the way.

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And it did not end there with Wardlaw, who has won the SIL title with East Bergholt and won senior football back for Old Newton and Framlingham, arranging a pre-match meal at the Claydon Greyhound.

“The lads had scrambled egg and beans on toast, but it did us little good,” recalled Wardlaw, “scoring first with five minutes to go but ending up losing 2-1.”

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Wardlaw has former Suffolk and Norfolk county defender Mark Keeley as his joint manager and has recruited a number of former Ridgeons League players. He did not stay long as his last two clubs - Framlingham and Ransomes - but says that he is at Claydon long-term.

“At Framlingham my goal was to win promotion, which we did, and if the Claydon challenge had not come along I would probably still be at Ransomes,” he explained.

“The aim at Claydon is senior football, but like Ipswich Town you cannot conjure up a winning side short-term.

“It is a re-building job and the emphasis pre-season was to get things right off the field. We now have a committee of 15 with Jeff Crane as chairman, and they all have their jobs.

“Now is the time to improve on the field. But it is a strong league and all four clubs we have met so far have been well organised and given a good impression.”

Keeley lives in Claydon, and Wardlaw says he feels right in his current environment, adding: “Football has always been a hobby for me and I don't want long hours.

“A good number of young Ridgeons League managers are packing it in because of the heavy work load, but working with Mark means I am happy with how things are going.”

Wardlaw has resigned from the SIL committee because he has 'too much on his plate', but has not lost his love of a game that he makes as much fun as possible.

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