How calling off a game against Emley helped SJR Worksop become a bigger and better club

The saying goes that out of adversity comes opportunity.

By Stephen Thirkill
Thursday, 16th December 2021, 12:56 pm
Updated Thursday, 16th December 2021, 12:56 pm
Cameron Baines (16) was called up to senior squad after two appearances for SJR Development.
Cameron Baines (16) was called up to senior squad after two appearances for SJR Development.

It might not have felt that way though as SJR Worksop licked their wounds after having to pull out of a Sheffield Senior Cup tie because of a shortage of players.

But the embarrassment caused to the club that night acted as a trigger to make the proud Worksop club bigger and better, with boss Andrew Guest left to reflect on how such an incident could not be allowed to happen again.

“We got drawn against Emley at home in the Sheffield Cup,” explained Guest.

“I thought it was good as we would get a good crowd, but because Emley are in a higher league they said they couldn't play the Saturday and we had to move it midweek.

“Because we don't have floodlights we had to go and play at their place.

“We only had 23 register players at that point, and with it being a midweek game we had lads on shifts, some were injured. We only had 10 eligible players, and one of them was me.

“So we had to cancel the game and people were saying on social media how we had bottled it.

“I couldn't take nine lads to Emley, who were three leagues above us, and play a game.

“I spoke to my dad and said that it would never happen again. I decided we needed a second team and get some younger lads in.

“We put trials on and we narrowed it down to about a 20 man squad.”

It proved to be a major success for the club with the Development squad, which is run by Danny Scott, now shining in league football.

But with the club having a gap in teams between U12 and U17 level, the hard work must continue in trying to find the next crop of young talent

“The lad who runs the development is a referee so he sees a lot of players, I am always out looking as well,” added Guest.

“We are always keeping our eyes out all the time. The work that everyone has put in is unbelievable.

“It shows if you get the right message across people will buy into it, you don’t have to throw money at it. People can see that we are doing the right thing.

“We don’t have a conveyor belt of our own so we have to keep looking.

“We are not looking too far out of town. We drew a circle on a map and said that is our cut-off point, so it can be quite restrictive at times.

“The talent is out there in Worksop though, we just have to find it.”