‘We only got two games to try to turn it all round’

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A FORMER Brighouse Town management team offered their help to Wakefield FC to avoid relegation but then were only given two matches to turn round the club’s playing fortunes!

Town’s promotion winning manager and former Liversedge coach Mark Brier exclusively reports to Echo Sport in a Wakefield approved Press release that after just two matches they were told in an e-mail that someone else had already been offered the job!

“Strange, but true, and here’s the baffled management team’s explanation of the strange events that happened within a two and a half week period,” he said.

Due to the club’s financial situation, Wakefield FC had been asking for assistance in quickly raising funds for the stricken club and Brier met with the chairman Peter Matthews a few weeks ago.

It was agreed he would help raise funds by generating revenues, through sponsorship and advertising.

During a subsequent meeting, to discuss fundraising options, Matthews said the first team manager and his assistant were stepping down.

When asked what contingency was in place, Hipperholme-based Brier was told there was nothing and offered to put in a football management structure that would ensure the club competed in the Evo-Stik NPL Division One North, with the agreed target of avoiding relegation.

Brier introduced Darren Attwood, a former professional with West Brom and Torquay, his former assistant at Brighouse Town, to the chairman.

It was also agreed that they would introduce Tsuyoshi Takano, better known in football circles as “T”, a highly experienced and well qualified coach, who worked with the Japanese World Cup squad at the last World Cup and also worked in the “J” League, winning a championship and getting into the Asian Champions League.

The chairman then introduced a new chief executive officer to Brier and Attwood and it was confirmed and then agreed when they met, that the management team would be announced, with the targets discussed.

The new management team accepted the job on the terms that they would control the football side of the club, and it was clearly stated that “T” and Attwood would run the football side. Brier’s role would be doing commercial work, as before for various clubs but now including Wakefield FC.

“This was all voluntary work for Wakefield FC and the chairman then made the announcement to the players on the Wednesday night before training, with the CEO present,” said Brier.

“The first game at Mossley was a miracle in itself, as the team was put together in three days, the seven days rule scuppering any immediate targets, with most of the management and players meeting for the first time at the ground.

“The result was pretty much as expected, two goals for Mossley in the first and last eight minutes due to the situation and then match fitness, flattering a Mossley side that Wakefield competed with for the rest of the game.

“A 6-0 defeat yes, but the team spirit and effort shown by the lads that pulled the shirts on that day was something the club should always be proud of. This was backed up by followers and committee at the game.

“The second game at home to Radcliffe Borough was a defeat but the team actually should have won, missed chances costing the points.

“We dominated long periods of the game against a side that beat Garforth away last Saturday but conceded two late goals, after injuries to two of the back four that had defended so well.

“Progress made and, with the seven days meaning new targeted additions to the squad could be involved, the team were looking forward to continuing their progress for the following Saturday.

“More than 18 players were now signed on and most were at the training on the Monday night and absolutely buzzing.

“It was then announced in an e-mail to the three of us from the CEO that a manager, that had apparently been lined up before we met but was in the USA, was taking over.

“We would have loved the opportunity to progress further but it seems that it was not in the plans of the CEO who asked to remain anonymous.

“All three of us would like to thank all the players that turned out at Mossley and at home to Radcliffe for their help, attitude and commitment to our collective.

“We would also like to thank all the players, managers, coaches and supporters for their backing and comments.”

Wakefield, 19th of 22 clubs in the division, above Brighouse Town, lost 5-1 at home on Saturday to the club directly above them, Harrogate Railway under new manager Paul Lines, ex-Ossett Town, Guiseley and Yorkshire Amateur.