Rawden hails ‘turning point’ at Kimberley MW

Paul Rawden is keen to see Kimberley Miners Welfare build on and off the pitch as the club aims to climb the non-league pyramid.
Paul Rawden is keen to see Kimberley Miners Welfare build on and off the pitch as the club aims to climb the non-league pyramid.

Manager Paul Rawden says it’s now a case of ‘onwards and upwards’ at Kimberley Miners Welfare after a topsy-turvy few days at the Stag Ground.

Following Saturday’s 1-0 win at Radcliffe Olympic, Rawden surprisingly resigned from his role on Sunday citing a difference of opinion with club officials as to its future direction.

But after an emergency meeting was held on Monday night, Rawden agreed to stay on as manager and was on the touchline for the 2-0 Notts Senior Cup quarter-final defeat at Dunkirk on Tuesday night.

Explaining his original decision to leave Welfare, Rawden said it was purely a matter of principle on his part.

He said: “This has always been a club run at the amateur levels of the game so promotion has meant changes are necessary in the infrastructure if it really wants to maintain and then improve its position.

“I felt we’d come to an important crossroads in terms of how things were going to progress and that certain things needed to happen to help us try and move higher up the pyramid, but there was a difference of opinion with some club officials.

“I respected their views but felt that if the club didn’t wish to match my ambition then I didn’t want to waste my time sitting at the same level or lower.

“In the end, we had an emergency meeting on Monday which was so productive and where things were really thrashed out, and by the end of which I was happy to stay on. I never wanted to leave so I’m delighted we can move on.”

“With me having worked a lot at this level before it was a case of re-evaluating and giving my ideas as to how I thought the club could move forward both on and off the pitch. Thankfully we’re now all singing off the same hymn sheet and this could be a real turning point.”

Rawden says he now expects Kimberley Miners Welfare to push on and build for a future at a higher level, with potential FA Cup qualification already on the horizon due to their league position and scope to improve facilities so promotion will be allowed.

He added: “If you enter the non-league pyramid it’s my view that you may as well try and climb it, as so many clubs locally have done.

“We had to either decide if we wanted to carry on playing ‘for fun’ or really want to build given we’re in a promising area in terms of non-league football and there is potential for support to grow.

“I take my hat off to club officials because they listened and do now want to push on. We may well have a change of structure in the summer in terms of how many teams we have and so on, and the squad is being built with next season in mind too, but the fact is that we’re now all thinking the same way and that can only be positive.”

On Tuesday’s cup defeat at Dunkirk, Rawden added: “I honestly can’t believe we lost the game as we were the better side throughout and created so many openings, but Dunkirk defended superbly and then caught us at the end with the second goal as we threw everything forward.

“We’d done well to get that far though and won’t have as many qualifying rounds next season, so hopefully we can have another good crack at it.”