THE 1874 COLUMN - By Matt Waters

WITH the Football Association’s decision to null and void the season thus expunging all the results, I caught up with co-manager Paul Bowyer to discuss his time at 1874 so far, reflecting back on the season that never was and the transition between playing and management.

Since joining the club as a player back in our first ever season in 2013/14, he soon became assistant manager to Ian Street and Paul revealed one of his favourite memories so far.

He said: “There’s been plenty of memories so it’s so difficult to narrow them down.

“The 2018/19 Macron Cup Final win is definitely right up there as everyone wants to win something and it was a really important win for the club for many reasons.

“The FA Vase win at Leighton was amazing and I’ll never forget the scenes at the end of the game and the journey home!”

Paul recognises the relationship between the players and fans plays a key part in the family club ethos.

He said: “The link between the fans, players and staff and the level of support is something that makes this club stand out.

“The way everyone at the club buys into the whole ethos and the sense of community and togetherness is brilliant.

“There’s been lots of examples of this during the season, from the move to Barnton to the flags that have been purchased. When Matt Russell walked out to see the flag the fans had made for him was special.”

When discussing the transition of becoming a manager, Paul said it was always something that had interested him.

“Ian had a chat with me and offered me the opportunity to get involved and I felt I needed to work alongside someone with more experience so it suited us both,” he said.

“I learnt a hell of a lot and enjoyed my time and when Ian decided it was time for him to move on, I really wanted to stay at the club.

“The timing probably helped a bit as there were maybe 10 or so games left of the season and after a chat with Wayne, we both fancied it and the board said they were happy for us to take charge.”

With an eye on next season, Paul expressed his desire for everyone to raise their standards again across the club.

He continued: “We’ve said it for the past couple of seasons now but standards need to be raised and we’ve all got to look to improve.

“There can be no complacency around the club that things will just happen for us and it’s our job to make sure this doesn’t happen.

“We know it will be tougher than ever now as every club will be more determined to beat us so I’m expecting the biggest challenge we’ve faced at the club to try and do it all again.”