Not many non-league bosses would willingly put their prized assets in the shop window – but that’s exactly what SJR Worksop was started for, according to their boss Andrew Guest.
After switching Sunday football for the Central Midlands League a year ago, Guest saw his side win all but two of their games last season before being handed promotion by virtue of points-per-game.
Now at Step 7, Guest is eyeing another big campaign, and he doesn’t mind if that means he has to let his best players move on.
“We got off to a great start in the Central Midlands Division One but then the league was voided but the league,” Guest said. “I sent an email after the decision to void the season just asking if there was a chance we could get promoted and they put us up on points-per-game. It was relief to get it because it’s good for the club.
“I didn’t want to lose that momentum we had going. Some of our lads have stepped down to play for us so for them to be forced to spend another league at this level, it could have derailed everything.
“We’ve got no problem with Worksop Town at all but a lot of the local lads don’t get a chance in their setup so one of the main reason we made the switch was to give local lads the chance to play at a decent level.
“When I was younger, all the lads in Worksop played for Glapwell so we all had to travel quite far to play football. We enjoyed it, but because it wasn’t our club and our town we were representing, so there wasn’t that same buzz.
“Of course, you want to win stuff but if one lad got picked up and ended up playing in the National League after starting with us, we’ve more than done our job.”
It’s not just the men’s team who are riding high. Worksop Town’s ladies side broke away to play under the SJR Worksop name while a reserve side is also in the pipeline.
“Things are booming,” Guest added. “Worksop Town’s ladies side joined us, we have got a reserves team being set up and we’re also looking at setting up an educational academy – but that’s a while away yet.
“With the reserve team, we wanted to give lads something to play for. Young lads now play for a side until they hit 18 and then they have nowhere to go and they all stop playing. We need local lads to be playing football, we can’t let them waste their talent.
“As a club, we want to keep everyone involved from the players and coaches – even to the sponsors – from the local area.”