A ‘fresh start’ for Woolley at Sandy Lane

Worksop Town v Rainworth Miners Welfare, pictured is Steve Woolley
Worksop Town v Rainworth Miners Welfare, pictured is Steve Woolley

The 2017/18 season feels like somewhat of a fresh start for captain Steve Woolley.

His second stint with Worksop Town began two years ago and looked like ending this summer, before a raft of changes on and off the pitch.

A new manager keen to retain his services, play the style of football he likes and give him an armband has helped to rejuvenate the midfielder.

“I’ve never worked with Ryan before, he’s tried to sign me quite a few times and when I first spoke to him in the off season I was going to stop playing,” he said.

“I picked up a nasty injury last season but thought I’d try and get fit.

“Everything he said, playing football the right way, sounded good. I like to play, keep the ball on the floor.

“When he asked me to be captain it was a no brainer really.

“I feel like I’m settled now at Worksop, I’ve got a good relationship with the fans as well.

“It was an easy decision.”

Woolley is one of a small number of players to have stayed at the club and the sheer volume of incoming signings meant a slow start in pre-season games.

“To be honest we started off not very sharp, we didn’t gel very well early on but there’s been that many changes, only a handful of players who have been there two or three seasons have stayed,” said Woolley.

“The rest Ryan has brought in, players he knows.

“At first it was a bit like a teething period but as we’ve played more games and gelled more results have shown that.”

A bonus of so many new players, in Woolley’s eyes, is that it all feels like a fresh start for the club.

“It feels like I’ve gone to a new team because there’s been that many changes,” he said.

“They’re players I’ve heard of just never played with.

“It’s a bit of a fresh start.

“There was a lot going on off the field, which I won’t talk about, but it’s probably a good thing what’s happening at the minute – new manager, new players who don’t really care about what’s going on off the field, they just want to play football.

“They all seem like really nice lads, which helps.

“I’m looking forward to it.”

Worksop Town’s summer schedule culminated in an emphatic 5-0 thumping of Evo-Stik Northern Premier side Matlock Town.

That result, achieved without the skipper, is evidence that Tigers need not be worried about any of the sides in the NCEL Premier this season, he says.

“Unfortunately I didn’t play in that one, I was away but from what I hear they were absolutely brilliant.

“You’re not going to get anyone as good as that in our league to be honest so why should we fear playing anyone this season?

“That’s probably the best way to look at every game, going out to play our own game and not worrying about anyone.”

Worksop host Hinckley in the FA Cup on Saturday.