THE PANDEMIC may have abruptly ended any chance that Rugby Town had of recording a much overdue success on the pitch this season, but there was something for them to celebrate off it when club secretary Doug Wilkins was named Administrator of the Year for the United Counties League (UCL).
Valley’s stalwart official received the accolade as he completed his 23rd season in the role at the club – albeit a campaign declared null and void following the spread of coronavirus across the country.
UCL chairman Alan Poulain notified Doug in a recent telephone call, with Town’s secretary recalling: “Alan thanked me for the club’s efforts this season and he highlighted the fact there had never been any issues with our paperwork and interactions – so it’s good to know I am doing something right!”
Town director Mike Yeats also thanked his colleague for his contribution to the club by saying: “We are absolutely delighted for Doug and it’s great for him to have received acknowledgement for his efforts over the years.
“I would also like to highlight the support of his wife Veronica in this time and in particular highlight her excellent work in the area of hospitality for the boardroom and visiting officials.”
Whilst the higher echelons of the football pyramid continue to come to grips with how to terminate their seasons and – in the most elite levels – whether to and how to complete the remaining fixtures, Rugby look set for a third year within the UCL structure and with it their fourth at the fifth step of the non-League pyramid.
It is believed this season’s annulment will mean the make-up of the various divisions across the non-League spectrum will remain relatively unchanged – ruling out any geographical switch for Town right now.
UCL chairman Poulain reflected on the potential challenges for their 2020-21 term on a supporters’ social media site recently.
He said: “I believe the season will start later than the scheduled date of the first week in August.
“There are a number of factors that will need to be worked out first, for example Government conditions regarding social and safe distancing and how we will deal with changing rooms, etc.
“We must also bear in mind the typical age of our volunteer workforce and whether there are still any age-related lockdown recommendations in place.
“There are many difficult decisions ahead and there is of course the fundamental issue of how do the clubs get finance, with the possibility they will not be allowed to open up clubhouses or bars by then.”
Words courtesy of Jon Venner.