Kimberley squad are ‘playing for their futures’

Paul Rawden

Paul Rawden

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Kimberley Miners Welfare manager Paul Rawden has told his squad they have to fight for their futures at the club as the season enters its final stages.

Welfare sit comfortably in mid-table in the East Midlands Counties League but were dealt a blow this week with the news that FA Cup qualification would not be possible were they to finish in the top eight.

That leaves little to play for other than pride in the remaining games, but Rawden emphasised that will be just as important.

He said: “We hadn’t been told that if you haven’t played in the FA Vase or FA Trophy the previous season, you can’t then play in the FA Cup.

“So that’s a big blow for us but we continue to plan ahead as next season we’ll be in the Vase for the first time and seeded in the Notts Senior Cup.

“More importantly, the players are now playing for their futures as it’s become apparent to me we need to make big changes to the playing staff here and some players won’t be kept on.

“Which of those players will decide to leave themselves or whether I’ll have to tell them remains to be seen, but we’ve a good idea of who we want to keep and who we also want to bring in.”

Two successive home defeats means Welfare are 11th in the table in what is their first season in the pyramid, but Rawden says great progress continues to be made at the club, particularly off the pitch.

He added: “The ground needs to be good enough to stay at this level and I’ve ensured that’s happened. The improvements have been taking place and it’s progressing well.

“We’ll be streamlining the playing side of things next year but still need more volunteers to help us out on matchdays as we don’t quite have enough, so I’d encourage anyone interested to get in touch with us.

“Now we’re in the pyramid, progress is a must rather than risking dropping out again, but I’m happy things are moving forward well.”