After finishing 6th in the NCEL Premier Division last term, Staveley Miners Welfare manager Brett Marshall was optimistic heading into this season, however a slump in form during the opening few months saw the Derbyshire slip down towards the relegation zone.
However, with the real threat of relegation at the beginning of April Marshall rallied his troops and pulled off a remarkable month, playing 8, winning 5, drawing once and losing just twice.
Currently Staveley MW sit 14th, a world apart from 7th April when they were just six points above the drop zone with others having games in hand. The Trojans could drop to 17th on the final day(s) of the season as others have one game left to play, but time will tell.
Marshall took over at Inkersall Road on 5th May, 2015, after turning down numerous jobs at a higher level for the job at Staveley. At the time he said, “The Staveley job is the one I wanted.
“After taking everything about the role into consideration, including the facilities and infrastructure at Inkersall Road which are unrivalled at Step 5, it is a no-brainer.
“Combine all of that with the development and junior teams the club already has in place, along with the future ground improvement plans, and it was a very easy decision to make.”
Since then, Marshall guided Staveley to an 8th place then 6th placed finish, with a record amount of points for the club in just his second term in charge.
A big shout to the lads & Marsh/Wardy/Bow who stayed with us when it was tough, the new lads who came & have bought into the club spirit & dressing room – “you’ll find out more about yourselves when times are tough”
— Staveley MWFC (@StaveleyMWFC) May 4, 2018
We were fortunate enough to catch up with Marshall this morning and had an in-depth chat about several footballing topics, and he opened with his assessment of this season, “I think that the season has been disappointing, I think we started pre-season with a little bit of promise but it has been a tough season for everyone at the football club, but we have had a good last six to seven weeks and had that stability so hopefully we can move on from that.”
Staveley went from 25th October to 20th March with just two wins, and this was a difficult time, “It was tough, with all due respect we weren’t getting beat badly, it was 3-2, 2-1, 1-0, leading games with 10 to 15 minutes to go in a lot of the games. You know it is tough and you have to give it time, and be patient, and eventually once you start to get a bit of stability in then lads who haven’t played at this level before, and younger players who aren’t used to this sort of style, urgency and energy that is needed week in, week out at Northern Counties East and Step 5 level suddenly started to pay dividend at the end.”
Not bad after circa 60-games on it ?? @PremierPitches ???
— Staveley MWFC (@StaveleyMWFC) May 3, 2018
Several squad members during the hard times this season have left the club and this did not sit well with Marshall, “I’m a big thing on loyalty, and I have been loyal to players in the last 15 or so years in management, and this season it has been the worse for losing games and certain players have let myself down, let the football club down, Terry, supporters and the rest of the players. The modern day footballer and culture that selfish attitude of “it’s not going well”, “we’re not winning every week”, the blame culture with regards to other players, but they are the worst and I’d rather have players who cannot kick the ball five yards and be loyal, than someone who can balance the ball on the back of their neck, I’m glad to see the back of them!”
After a poor run of results during the season Chairman Terry Damms could have easily “thrown the towel in” but obviously didn’t, we ask Marshall about his relationship Terry, “The relationship I have with Terry is that he knows me as a person, and he knows that their is no one at the football club who is hurting more than myself at the results.
“Yeah it is a results game, but also a management game, we set objectives as a football club, we know where we are, and stability is the key and unfortunately the one bit of stability we never had was on the field and that is what made us rocky.”
We go on to discuss fixture congestion, a lack of communication from him during the season, future aspirations and much much more.
You can listen to the whole interview below: