THE 1874 COLUMN - By Matt Waters

SINCE signing for the club in the 2013/14 season, we’ve seen the performances of our captain, Matt Woolley, improve year on year.

He has proved how much of a pivotal role he plays on and off the pitch at the club.

Over the past week, I caught up with Matt to see how he’s coping with lockdown, his thoughts from last season and what he hopes to achieve in the future.

Matt revealed that although he is missing playing for 1874, he is still working so it hasn’t affected him as much as some.

“I feel like everyone else, frustrated that there is no football but everyone understands the reasons why we are doing it,” he said.

“I’m still working as the business I work for supplies engineering parts, tools, along with general maintenance and safety products to a lot of key industries, so it’s keeping me occupied.”

The decision from the FA to null and void the season was one that disappointed everybody to see the hard work and dedication from the players and volunteers not given the end reward. However Matt believes it can give the players encouragement.

He said: “At the start of a season we are all motivated to achieve as much as we can and next season will be no different.

“If anything, I am sure it will give us the belief that we are capable of being at the top end of the table.

“That said, our success this season will drive other teams within the league and it will be as competitive as ever with any complacency proving to be costly.”

When discussing the decision from the FA to null and void the season, Matt said all the players accept why the decision was made.

“We as players are obviously disappointed with the decision as a lot of hard work had been done and it would have been nice to have something to show for the dedication and commitment that went into last season,” he said.

“We’re more than aware of the reasons why the decision was made. The health and safety of everyone is far more important.”

Woolley, 1874’s record appearance holder, rounded off with a message to fans.

“On behalf of the players, I hope you and your families are all safe and well in this difficult time,” he said.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support last season and I hope we as players gave you something to cheer!

“We wouldn’t have achieved what we did without seeing you all week in week out, come rain or shine, wherever we are playing!

“At this time more than ever it is important we return the favour and support you and your families! If any of you need anything, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

“We look forward to seeing and hearing you all again soon.”