Since signing for the club in the 2013/14 season, we’ve seen the performances of our Captain, Matt Woolley, improve year on year proving how much of a pivotal role he plays on and off the pitch at the club. Over the past week, I caught up with Matt to see how he’s coping with lockdown, his thoughts from the season that never got to be, and what he hopes to achieve in the future with the club.
When asked how he is dealing with lockdown, Matt revealed that although he is missing playing for 1874, he is still working so it hasn’t affected him as much. He said, “I think like everyone else, frustrated that there is no football but everyone understands the reasons why we are doing it and hoping football will be back soon. Personally, I am still working as the business I work for supplies engineering parts, tools, along with general maintenance and safety products to a lot of key industries, so that is keeping me occupied.”
The decision from the FA was one that disappointed everybody to see the hard work and dedication from the players and volunteers not given the end reward, however Matt believes it can give the players the belief that they can do it all again next season. He added, “At the start of season we are all motivated to achieve as much as we can and next season will be no different. If anything, I am sure it will give us the belief that we are capable of being at the top end of the table. That said, our success this season will drive other teams within the league and it will be as competitive as ever with any complacency proving to be costly.”
Looking back on last season, Woolley said he was “immensely proud,” of the performances each week from the players. “I believe everyone involved should be immensely proud of what we achieved. Everyone knows how competitive this league is and it’s a shame we didn’t get the chance to actually finish what we set out to do. Our consistency as a squad last year is what put us where we were at the time of the cancellation and if we want be as successful next season then consistence performances from everyone will be needed again.”
However, Woolley outlined that he hopes that they go much further in the FA Vase next season as he described last season’s exit to Prestwich Heys as “the biggest disappointment” of the campaign. He continued, “The biggest disappointment last year has to be the early exit from the FA Vase. It’s a competition that everyone wants to do well in and sets off at the start of the season with that dream of playing at Wembley. Next year gives us the opportunity to have a realistic go at it again!”
When discussing the decision from the FA to null and void the season, Matt said all the players are “disappointed,” but they understand the reasons why the decision was made. Woolley continued, “We as players are obviously disappointed with the decision as a lot of hard work had been done and it would have been nice to have something to show for the dedication and commitment that went in to last season. However, we are all more than aware of the reasons why the decision was made and had to be done. The health and safety of the everyone is far more important.”
Woolley, our record appearance holder, rounded off the interview with a message to all of our supporters.
“Firstly, on behalf of the players I hope you and your families are all safe and well in this difficult time.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support last season and i hope we as players gave you something to cheer! We wouldn’t have achieved what we did without seeing you all week in week out, come rain or shine, wherever we are playing!
At this time more than ever it is important we return the favour and support you and your families! If any of you need anything, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
We look forward to seeing and hearing you all again soon, hopefully it is sooner than later!