Matt Waters | 1874 Northwich F.C.

Ash Woods joins 1874

1874 are delighted to announce the signing of striker Ash Woods.

Ash joins the club with a wealth of experience at this level playing previously for clubs such as Atherton Collieries, Trafford, Colwyn Bay and West Didsbury and Chorlton.

Earlier this week we caught up with Ash to discuss his move to the club.

When speaking to Ash, it was clear that one of the key factors for him joining the club was playing in front of a “great fanbase.”

“Obviously the club has a great fanbase home and away which is always important as a player. When I’ve played against the club previously, they’ve always been difficult games due to the great atmosphere the fans create. The clubs local to me and I can’t wait to get started.”

A natural goal scorer himself, Ash told me he hopes he can add to the talent and depth in our squad already.

“I followed last season and the success the club had, and it’s clear I’m coming into a very talented squad. Whilst I don’t know many of them personally, I hope I can add something new to the team and help win games.”

“I’ve been in the game for a while now and experience is one of those I have built into my game. It’s knowing how to get results and games over the line which is important and I hope I can add that to the squad.”

After an injury-stricken season last year with West Didsbury and Chorlton, Ash told me he hopes he can get fit again and find his form in front of goal.

“I want this season to be as successful as possible. We need to perform well in the league and hopefully reach the latter stages of cup competitions like the FA Vase. For me personally, I would like to add to my good goalscoring record in the North West Counties and help the team as much as I can.”

In a message to the supporters, Woods added he’s looking forward to playing for a club that “backs the team.”

“I’m really looking forwarding to playing for 1874. I said it before, 74 is a club that has such a good following and will always back the team.”

“As a player when you get that support off the pitch it has an influence on you. That’s a big factor for me when choosing a club because it takes the pressure off you when you’re playing. I’m just looking forward to playing now.”

Selby Town preview

Tomorrow’s FA Vase game vs Selby Town marks our return to competitive football after a month’s absence.

Ahead tomorrow’s tie, Co-manager Wayne Goodison told me the players are “desperate to play.”

“We’ve prepared well. I think the lads have trained excellently over the last few weeks and we were very happy with how the game went against Wythenshawe Amateurs. We haven’t played competitively for a while and I know the players are desperate to play.”

“We’ve been to watch Selby and we’ve seen the threats they will potentially pose us. Whilst on paper they haven’t had the best of starts, we know we’ll have to be on our game otherwise they could cause us problems.”

After two early exits from the Vase in our previous two campaigns it was clear that Wayne wanted to progress much further this year whilst taking it “one game at a time.”

“As managers me and Paul want to go as far as we can in every competition. The Vase is something we have done well in previously however we must take it one game at a time.

 You can’t think about the latter rounds before you make it through the early ones. We’ve prepared well and I’d like to hope we’ve got enough to come through and win”

The absence of Scott McGowan is one which will be missed however Wayne believes we have more than enough quality to cover his role.

“Everybody wishes Scott well moving forward and we’ve trained well since he’s left. Joe Duckworth has done excellently so far during pre-season and that’s a credit to his attitude.

In pre-season we tried different things out and we feel we have enough to cover that role, however we aren’t going to move forward with only one striker.

We don’t feel like we have to make any rushed signings although if the right player comes along, we’d certainly look at it.”

Selby are currently bottom of the Northern Counties East Football League Division One after losing all five of their games so far. They progressed through the last round of the Vase against fellow North West Counties Premier side Litherland Remyca.

Tickets are available to purchase on our club shop and if you are attending tomorrow’s game please remember to social distance and wear a face covering (unless exempt) at all times.

Scott McGowan

We’re sad to announce the departure of our record goal scorer Scott McGowan, who will be joining Northern Premier League side Nantwich Town. After playing for the club over the last five years, Scott showed his prolific nature scoring 132 goals in 192 games.

Whilst suffering an interrupted first spell with the club, Wayne and Paul brought Scott back at the end of the 2016/17 season. From there he went from strength to strength, notably scoring the winning goal in the Mid Cheshire Cup Final against Northwich Victoria helping the club retain the trophy.

The following season Scott continued his prolific form playing an integral role in our FA Vase run which saw us reach the Semi Final. In what was his best season in front of goal for the club, Scott notched up 42 goals across all competitions showing the clear threat he possesses.  His own personal successes didn’t end there as he won the Supporters player of the year award in what was a truly remarkable season.

The 2018/2019 season saw the club gain more silverware winning the Macron Cup against City of Liverpool. However, that wasn’t the only award Scott would go on to achieve that season.

 At the end of season presentation night, he picked up a hat-trick of awards including The Paul Stockton Supporters Player of the season for another stunning campaign netting 36 goals in 42 games.

Despite last season’s null and voiding, Scott’s form helped us extend our healthy lead over Rylands to eight points. Before the season’s premature conclusion, McGowan managed to score 30 in 37 games in what was to be a potentially historic season for the club.

In a short statement, Scott said he wanted to thank our “unbelievable” supporters.

“It’s been an extremely difficult decision to leave the club. Playing for 1874 has been an experience like no other and I want to thank everybody who has been a part of it. I’d like to thank Paul and Wayne for putting their faith in me to play down the middle and help me perform the way I have the last few seasons.

The opportunity to play for a club at a higher level is something that doesn’t come around very often and I want to test myself to see if I can do it at that level.

Finally, I’d like to thank the club’s unbelievable supporters. Whether it’s the volunteers behind the scenes or those watching us on a matchday singing my name, it has been a pleasure to play for 1874 and an experience I will never forget.”

In addition to this, Co-manager Wayne Goodison told me whilst being “disappointed” Scott has chosen to leave, he wishes him and his family all the best.

“Obviously disappointed that Scott has chosen to leave, though the opportunity to test himself and see if he’s capable of being as successful with a totally different club at a higher level is certainly something he should attempt.

He’s been fantastic as a player and more importantly as a person for me to deal with. He knows my thoughts on him, and I wish him and his family the best of luck for his future, both in and out of football.”

Everybody at 1874 Northwich would like to thank Scott for his dedication and hard work over the past 5 years and we wish him all the best ahead of his move to Nantwich Town.

An interview with Matt Woolley

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! 

COYG’s!”

James Blair

1874 Northwich are delighted to announce the signing of former Mossley right back James Blair. Speaking at training last week with Club Media Officer Matt Waters, Blair revealed he was thrilled to sign for the club. He said, “After an absence from football, 1874 is the perfect place for me to get back into the game. I know a couple of the lads and they only have positive things to say about the club, so I’m looking forward to getting started.”

Blair, who is an experienced player at this level, believes he can add to the winning mentality of the side. He added, “As much as we want to play attractive football, we know that we won’t always be able to do that and I feel I can help us grind out some results and keep a level head.”

After playing in the Evo Stik before, Blair revealed he wanted to make a quick return, but this time with 1874. He said, “Our aim for this season has to be challenging for the league title. We’ve got a good squad and anything less for me wouldn’t be good enough.”

When asked what the fans can expect from him over the coming seasons, Blair responded by saying, “They can expect me to use my experience to help us win games. I’ll put in 100% each and every game to help the side win as many games as we can and always keep a level head.”

Nathan Okome signs

1874 are pleased to announce the signing of versatile footballer Nathan Okome from
Knutsford Town. Last Week, Club Media Officer Matt Waters caught up with Nathan at
training.

When asked what made him sign for the club he said, “Over the last couple years I’ve played
against the club a few times and I like the style of play, I feel like it suits me and I’m looking
forward to getting started.”

Okome, who spent most of his youth career playing in defence and holding midfield revealed
he’s looking forward to making the step up from Knutsford to 1874. He said, “After being out
injured for a number of years and getting back into football at Knutsford, I feel like it’s time
for a new challenge and I’m looking forward to playing for 1874.”

Spending most of his youth career in academy football, Nathan believed this experience will
be vital for his future. He commented, “Playing my first few seasons in men’s football was so
important. Knutsford was a good standard and I wasn’t too sure where I’d fit in but I feel I’ve
benefited a lot playing first-team football. I hope I can keep it going here and help bring
success to the club.”