THE VICS COLUMN – By goalkeeper coach, Mark Byrne

I HAD first heard about Northwich Victoria Football Club as a boy and that they played in the old Conference League.

I started following the club in more detail this year after my sister-in-law had become the club’s photographer.

Hearing about the club made me more inquisitive so I started following how the club was getting on week to week through social media.

It was through my sister-in-law that I heard about the club looking for a goalkeeper coach.

Having just completed the FA level 2 in goalkeeper coaching it was something I was very much interested in.

Following a message to the club management asking for further details on the position, I received a call from the first-team assistant manager, Steve Pickup.

After a chat he invited me to the next fixture, which happened to be away to Longridge Town, to undertake the warm-up with the goalkeepers and to meet the manager Steve Wilkes.

I didn’t know what to expect when I arrived at the game, but once I had met Pickup and a few of the players I felt very welcomed.

Once I got onto the pitch with Tabs (Danny Taberner) and Scott (Reed) it felt like I had been at the club for some time.

The result that night was not the result we had hoped for. However, I will always remember it as after the game I had a chat with Steve Wilkes and went home as the Vics goalkeeper coach.

My first home game with the club will be a game that I will always remember.

There were many ups and downs with the bonus of being up 4-1 at one point in the game.

The game finished in a surprising 5-5 draw which gave me a few extra points to consider in the next training session.

Since my role began there have been many training sessions but one area that I always like to start with is looking at the basics of the player or players I coach.

It provides a foundation on which to build yet doesn’t overload the players with too much additional information.

I feel honoured and privileged to be a part of this great and historic club.

And I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved with the club as well as the fans for making me a part of the club’s family.