Continuing his interviews for Scottish Amateur Football News, Writer Tom Scott caught up with Rhu Amateur Football Manager Mr Stewart Maule with his club officials, backroom staff and players are planning ahead for a very special anniversary.
When was the club founded?
The first recorded game was on the 1st of January 1896. ’We will be celebrating our 125th Anniversary this season.
Have you always been in the same League/Association?
We’ve been in the West of Scotland League and the Scottish Amateur Football League before joining the Caledonian AFL. In fact, at one point we ran 3 teams and had 1 in each of them.
How has planning been during the pandemic?
Modern technology is a wonderful thing. Like everyone these days, The Committee have their own Whatsapp Group and so do the players. There was never a day that went by where we weren’t in communication with each other. We are fortunate to have an incredibly hard working Committee that made sure the pitch and the Clubhouse were looked after properly and local businesses did lots of work on the property free of charge. The players were always on their Whatsapp group whinging about the lack of Football. We also have innovative and creative people in charge of our Social Media Accounts who found new ways to keep supporters engaged with the Club.
Is there a mixture of resigned players and new additions moving forward?
Absolutely we’re always looking for ways to do better and be better, both on and off the park. We had a squad with amazing potential last season and we are fortunate that we have managed to attract 5 or 6 real quality players to add to that squad for the coming season.
Amateur Football is easy, the team that trains together the most, plays together the most and socialises together the most are usually the most successful. The incredibly difficult thing to manage in this day and age is making that happen because of the change in people’s work patterns, social lives, home lives and ability to commit.
As the club celebrate a very special Anniversary – despite the current restrictions – are you able to put any functions in place?
As our 125th Anniversary isn’t officially until 2021 we still have plenty of time to plan and finalise functions and matches to commemorate such a fantastic achievement. For a team from a wee village to have survived for that long is something we are all incredibly proud of and something we want to celebrate correctly.
What is your vision for Rhu Amateur Football Club moving forward?
I read a quote the other day that said “A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” A wee bit deep I know but that’s what we hope to achieve eventually. A Club that is sustainable and will be here for another 125 years.
In the short term, off the field we have plans in motion to upgrade the changing rooms, showers, referee’s room and men’s toilets and we are in the process of improving the playing surface at the Club. We want to increase our Social Membership and bring people back to watch Rhu again. The Club lost its identity for a few years and we are working really hard to make it a Community friendly Club that is attractive to Players, Sponsors, Supporters and their families again.
On the pitch we only try to be better and do better than we did the season before. There are so many variables during games that it’s not realistic to promise anyone a positive outcome. We only ever put all our efforts into trying to improve the players, improve ourselves as coaches and improve on what we achieved the season before.
We are confident that with the squad of players we have assembled for this season, our hardworking Committee, our incredible Sponsors and Supporters that we are heading in the right direction.
Regards, Manager Stewart Maule