Appleby will stay at Wisbech Town if club is successful with UCL application

Steve Appleby

Steve Appleby - Credit: Archant

STEVE Appleby has committed his future to Wisbech Town - providing the club is successful in its application to join the ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League (UCL).

Appleby, his assistant Chris Dear and the players are unhappy that the board of directors withdrew the club’s application for promotion to step four football following the Fenmen’s second place finish in the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division this season.

But Appleby, who has led Wisbech to two Red Insure Cup triumphs in his three and a half years at the club, may still leave his post if the UCL application fails.

The final decision on what league the club will be joining next season will be made by the Football Association, who are due to announce draft League Constitutions later this month.

Speaking after a meeting with the chairman, Appleby said: “The easy decision would have been to walk away but I felt as though it is time for a bit of stability and loyalty to be shown, not only to the club itself, but also to the players and supporters of the town.

“I have made a quick decision for the good of the club and the players. The good news that I have is that Chris Dear, who is invaluable to me, and a large majority of players want to stay at the club.

“It’s not been an easy decision because it has taken myself, Chris and the players three-and-a-half seasons to achieve what we have done.

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“It’s been a bitter pill to swallow not to take the promotion for myself and the players and probably what hurt more was that we only found out a week before the end of our season.

“However, we have to respect the decision that the chairman and board of directors have made, because it has been made to safeguard the club’s future. I for one want there to be a Wisbech Town in a hundred years’ time; it has always been about the club, not an individual player or manager.”

Appleby is hopeful the bulk of the squad that performed so well this season will remain at the club.

He said: “Twelve of the 17 squad members that we have had told me they are happy here and want to stay, three need time to think things over; and two are moving away from the area.

“I know that until players have signed the appropriate forms that we can all still speculate on what may happen, but what I will say to you is that I trust these lads; they are the most honest bunch I’ve ever had the pleasure of being with and they have never let me or the club down and if they do stay (which they have indicated), they deserve a lot of credit.

“As always I wanted to thank the fans for their continued support that was also very much in evidence in our cup final win and it may just have had a big say in mine and the players’ decision to stay.”