We’re excited to launch a brand-new ‘Your Club in Focus’ feature on our website to provide a behind-the-scenes view of some of the fantastic work going on at our local clubs in Lincolnshire.
To get things started, we spoke to James Payling of Wyberton Football Club…
Your name and role at the club:
James Payling and I’ve just been announced as the new Wyberton Reserve Manager as well as being Joint Groundsman and Fixture Secretary.
What is the background to your club?
The club was established back in 1964 and has gone from strength to strength since, winning the local leagues and cups regularly as well as also adding the Lincs League and various county level cups along the way. This is just the tip of the iceberg as Wyberton FC have also had a huge amount of success at youth level too.
How long have you been involved at the club?
In total around 15 years, from being a player to managing a youth and adult team.
How and why did you get into grassroots football?
Like nearly everyone I suppose, the father and son scenario although I didn’t want to just watch I wanted to be manager from the off. One of the best things I’ve ever done and I’m very proud of the lads I managed to coach.
Why do you think grassroots football is important to so many people?
What a sport! It brings people together; there’s blood, sweat and tears being involved in grassroots sport. The emotions of the highs and lows touch everyone. Then there’s the obviously things like fitness and the social side of the sport.
As a club, what do you feel you do best?
We offer a great platform for local players to get involved and to play football. When you look around at other local youth set-ups they have unfortunately fizzled out somewhat but Wyberton have a great amount of unsung heroes that keep the club driving forward.
What achievements are you and the club most proud of?
For me personally, it’s coaching young kids from aged 6 who idolised you and could only toe-poke the ball into young adults - and now I idolise them! I know the club are proud of that. As a club, I think we are all very proud of the opportunities we offer and how the club has maintained its strength and unity over the years…as well as all the silverware of course.
What are your areas for development as a club?
All the above said, we know we are doing well but we seemed to have stalled a little but over recent months. There has been a lot of buzz around freshening things up, kind of like a new era. We want to go back to having a youth team at every age. Once we’re back to normal we will be looking to have a Ladies friendly and seeing if we can gain enough interest in pulling a team together. We recently enquired about the Lincs U23 League and there may be a possibility of an Over-35s team or at least some training put on.
This is a very difficult period for grassroots football as a whole. What measures are being adopted to see the club through these challenging times?
To be honest, from a club running point of view, not a lot. There’s two of us that are looking after the pitches but that’s about it. Player wise the younger age group managers are setting their players drills and tasks to complete via video messaging/social media which is great to see. The older age groups and men’s teams are out exercising and comparing times etc. It’s also good to see they are staying competitive.
If somebody wanted to join the club, in either a playing, coaching or volunteering capacity, how should they get in touch?
Social media. We’re quite active on there so that’s probably the best way to get in touch. A lot of people who join us comes from word to mouth really, a lot of people connected to the club are pretty popular locally but yes, social media, it will then just find its way to the right person.
Thank you to James for taking part in the first ‘Lincolnshire FA - Your Club in Focus’ feature. To find out more about Wyberton FC, follow their Twitter page: @WybertonFC