I'm not interested in someone playing for money, says Glebe boss Rocky McMillan
Thursday 05th June 2014GLEBE manager/chairman Rocky McMillan says the club are searching for a ground to call their own.
Last year the club agreed a two-year deal (with an option of a third) to hire Holmesdale’s Oakley Road ground in Bromley, to take their place in the Kent Invicta League.
They finished in tenth-place in their inaugural campaign after collecting 11 wins, 2 draws and 15 defeats.
Reflecting on their first campaign in senior men’s football, McMillan said: “We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The whole club enjoyed the experience and it was very much a learning process week-by-week and I’m sure we’ll be all the better for it next season.
“We learnt about the quality, about the experience, about the attitude of the players, about the desire for players to play for the club and not just individually.
“We learnt about our opposition’s playing styles, playing surfaces. It was a learning curve day-by-day really.”
McMillan will do everything in his power to avoid second season syndrome.
“Our aspirations are always to do the very best that we possibly can but I really feel that we’ll be much better prepared,” he said.
“We go back to pre-season next Tuesday, 10 June, which is quite early, but the reason I’m doing that is I’m lucky enough to be in Brazil for the World Cup between 12th – 26th June so I’ve got the rest of my management team taking the sessions for two weeks.
“We’ve got five or six good friendlies organised in July.
“I know we’re going to get some good quality players. I’m in discussions with four or five other lads to join us.
“Yesterday we managed to sign Glenn Brewer from Orpington, which is a real coup for us.
“He’s been around the circuit. He captained a very good team last year and I’ve had a couple of meetings with him during the summer and Glenn’s brought into the vision that I have for the football club.
“I don’t normally get too excited but I was really excited about Glenn choosing us because he had so many options.
“For someone who came fourth last year, who have aspirations of their own, he’s brought into the club’s vision and wants to play for the football club. I think it was outstanding for the football club.
“It shows when we started last year no one really knew us at the senior levels. We were really successful at junior levels but no one really knew us and we’ve done really, really well.”
McMillan, 57, revealed the club does not have a playing budget and will not welcome pound note chasers at next week’s training session.
He said: “Glebe Football Club does not pay its players. I’ve heard people get £70-£100 a game at other clubs but that’s entirely up to them. That’s nothing to do with me!
“If somebody’s really struggling with their expenses and comes a long distance then they might be helped out but that won’t come out of club funds. That would just be on a given basis.”
The Glebe manager would like to give youngsters a second chance.
“I think at this level there’s a lot of lads coming out of professional clubs that have just done their scholarships that have made it at the professional level and I tell them the vision of the football club and tell them that their much better playing minutes instead of being bums on seats at step three or step four (Ryman Premier/Ryman One North or South).
“Their certainly good enough for us and that’s what we’re looking at.
“If somebody wants twenty or thirty quid I tell them to run basically. I’m not interested in someone playing for £30. I want someone to play for the club with his heart and wanted to play for the club instead of paying £20-30 per game. That’s no interest to the football club.”
The Glebe chief says he wants to find a ground of their own in the future.
“We have a two-year groundshare with Holmesdale with a third-year option if it suits both parties,” said McMillan.
“I think ultimately we’re very honest with each other. Holmesdale would like to be in a position where they’re sole landlords of their ground.
“We’d like to be in a position where we’ve got our own ground. We’re very forever speaking to people about grounds and we are really hopeful that we will have a ground, whether it will be two, three, four years I can’t say that yet. We are very, very hopeful that we’d be able to get a graded ground up to at least step five (Southern Counties East Football League).
“We wouldn’t want to move out of the local area, outside of the Bromley, Chislehurst, West Wickham area. The fan base that we have, which is really much a club members’ at the moment, there’s opportunities miles away but I don’t really want to do that.”
Glebe must compete with landlords Holmesdale (Southern Counties East Football League), Ryman League Division One North side Cray Wanderers and their landlords Bromley for fans.
An idea that Holmesdale and Glebe should entertain would be to kick off at 12:00 on a Saturday lunchtime to entice fans of Cray Wanderers or Bromley to Oakley Road before making the short trip to Hayes Lane to watch their sides in action.
When asked how they compete with their more illustrious neighbours, McMillan said: “I think very, very well! In terms of Cray Wanderers, obviously coming from a different area attract different people.
“Bromley being four divisions higher get better quality players being in Conference South.
“We’ve got a very, very good working relationship with Bromley Football Club with the (owner, Jerry Dolke), with the manager (Mark Goldberg) and coaches. We often meet because we often compete at junior levels as well.
“Speaking to Jerry Dolke the other day, they’re not running a reserve or under 21s this year so we may well come to some kind of agreement with them where by players don’t quite make their grade are recommended to us and that’s something that I want to speak to Jerry about.”
McMillan insists he will still combine his manager role with his role as chairman.
“Yes, I am manager and chairman,” he said.
“When we formed the first team it wasn’t my intention to be manager even though I’ve been coaching for 20 years and feel I’m up to the job.
“The players have all stayed with me for last season. I will stay for this season. I’ve got a very strong management team behind me with Peter Dale (goalkeeper coach). Danny Wakeling has come on board. We’ve got a sports therapist and also Jack White has joined us from Elmstead.
“We’ve got a five-man management team. As far as managing it’s not going to be forever but it will certainly be for the coming season.
“I’ve got personal aspirations not just the first team but the whole football club.
“We’ve got a very powerful football club that I run. If somebody came along and I felt could do a better job than myself, the most important thing for any future manger he needs to know the basis of how Glebe Football Club is run upon. He has to have the love of the club in his heart.
“I don’t want someone just coming along and bouncing off my arm every year. It’s no good for the football club.
“We had three kids last year with the club who celebrated 12 years at the football club and that’s what we are. We are loyal standing members and that’s what I expect from the next man whenever he comes on board.”
Visit Glebe’s website: www.pitchero.com/clubs/glebefc