By James Grayson (Twitter - @jamesAgrayson)
Photos courtesy of Ryan Clark of ClarkHirstPhotography
A week after winning the Northern Counties East League Premier Division, Scarborough Athletic players celebrated after their final game yesterday by throwing manager Rudy Funk in the air.
A 2-1 defeat at Glasshoughton Welfare, who gave them the guard of honour before the match, did not matter and Funk received the acclaim he deserves for a wonderful achievement.
Funk has an excellent CV and has created interest in his three clubs that he has managed on the Football Pyramid. He led Rainworth Miners Welfare from obscurity in the Central Midlands to Evo Stik Division One South football in the space of a few years.
He was unable to keep the success going in the NPL and that disappointment will be probably be in his mind when he leads Scarborough next season. He will be out to prove a point.
In West Yorkshire, Funk is a bit of a mystery as no-one knows his football background pre-Rainworth. But everyone knows his name as his media relations appear to be excellent and he has a track record of success. I personally think he is a wonderful ambassador for Non-League football.
The sight of him with his Scarborough scarf round his neck may be a sign of eccentricity, but it gets people engaged and talking about it.
The Evo Stik League are getting a treat next season. Darlington look set to arrive with their large band of supporters along with Scarborough who bring hundreds. Then we also have Funk, who as always will create headlines – which will be good for Scarborough and also the NPL.
He will have a tough task continuing the success, but if he finds the right players, Scarborough will be a force. But, before he thinks about next season, Funk deserves a chance to bask in the glory that he has created.