Friday, 20 September 2013

Garforth Town are "going in right direction" on and off-the-pitch

Brian Close (left) and Graham Nicholas
By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
Chairman Brian Close believes Garforth Town are “going in the right direction” on and off-the-pitch at Wheatley Park.
In the Toolstation NCEL Premier Division, head coach Graham Nicholas and his team have defied all predictions to sit in fifth-place after 11 games.
The Miners have also scored 31 goals and Close said: “I’m really pleased with Graham.
“He was really after a chance to get into management and we gave him that opportunity and he has fulfilled everything I thought he would.
“He has been very professional, he knows his players and where he needs to improve. He has already improved his squad in certain positions.
“Realistically we couldn’t have expected to have been doing so well, considering we started from scratch. He and the team have been exceeding expectations. We’re definitely higher in the league than I thought we would be at this stage in the season.
“I think nearly game this season has been exciting and the fact that we are the league’s top goal-scorers shows this. I think everyone is enjoying the season.”
Off-the-pitch, Garforth have draught back on in the bar and have started holding functions for local residents, while the five-a-side courts are being booked out.
That is two achievements that Close and his management team have made since taking charge of the club in June on behalf of Oxfordshire-based owner Rupert Lowe, the former Southampton chairman.
And Close said: “Rupert Lowe came up about a month ago to meet with Leeds City Council, who are the landlords, and the local councillor Mark Dobson.
“Everyone went away happy from that meeting and very supportive of what we are trying to achieve. It was the first time I have met Rupert and he seems very supportive about everything.
“He is more than happy with the way things are going as he can see the progress that we have made in such a short time.”
He added: “We have started to see an increase in attendances, I’ve seen people at games who I haven’t seen for years,” he said.
“It is what we need to help with the revenue. We’re reasonably pleased with how it is going (off-the-pitch) considering we started from scratch. There is always things we need to spend money on and there is definitely certain revenue streams we need to improve on.
“We could do with more sponsorship, but it has started to move in the right direction. It does help that we don’t pay the players anything other than expenses.”

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