With Rainworth’s recent upturn in fortunes on the pitch creating a real feelgood factor around the place the Nottinghamshire club are preparing to carry their unbeaten record during December into two tough local derbies.
First up is the Boxing Day derby at Carlton Town, followed on New Year Monday by a home encounter with neighbours Hucknall Town.
However, the recent results also mean that many of the Rainworth players who perhaps were not on the radar of other clubs in the area are now attracting the interests of those clubs who perhaps can offer bigger financial rewards.
This can be a testing time for any manager, however, Wrens boss Kev Gee seemed philosophical about the number of seven days notices of approach that the club have received over the last couple of weeks.
Gee said: “Having spent four years as Operations Director at Glapwell I’m well versed in the administration side of most of the Northern Premier League clubs in our division.
“Some are run exceptionally well and others not so, but what I think should be addressed by the league’s management committee is transparency for all, in terms of the taxable disclosures and what are deemed as expenses.
“It seems to me that many clubs cannot be sustainable with the wages they are paying based upon fan base and income streams without having one or two benefactors in the wings to plug the deficit, with nearly every club having their own way of dealing with it without any set format going forward.
“It is always the same at boardroom level, with directors feeling embarrassed at the amount of investment being put in and only mid table obscurity showing.
“They may say ‘we only pay this amount per player, or we have nobody over this amount’ especially if the season is not going so well, but as a manager with that in mind you put seven days notice on a player, only to be told what the weekly wage the player is on is a million miles off your expectation, and therefore you cannot touch the sides.
“I have spoken to some players who earn over three figures a week and have never paid tax whilst at the club, which again I find hard to understand how clubs are allowed to get away with it.
“Yes, I appreciate that players will try and negotiate a little bit more than they are actually on, but the margins are too big for it not to realistic. As a manager I work within my budget and appreciate the hard work individuals put in at my club in order to sustain the committed wage bill we have.
“Yes of course it would be nice if there was a little bit more but there isn’t and would be disrespectful to ask so you just get on with it.
“In our position I have to respect that recent results will attract seven day notices which is a compliment to the players, but this week for example we have received a notice from a club who are not even in the play-off position offering my player three times what we pay.
“Now if that’s not going to turn a player’s head, but more importantly de-stabilise our group, then nothing will. I’m hoping that the player will actual stay as he has a good job, there is travelling involved and for me it is not particularly a better footballing move, purely a financial on.
“But in the present climate and of course the Festive season if he needs the financial security. Then again like Cameron Fearon if he does go he will go with my blessing and we move on.
“I have to except that I may have to build three or four teams between now and the end of the season, but as long as we achieve our goal of a minimum of 40 points that’s fine. We just have to accept that there will be constant changes – it’s not ideal its just the situation we are in.”
Looking at the two games over the Christmas period, Gee confirmed: “Carlton for me on paper are the best side in the division and have strength in depth. Obviously I know the manager very well and Clarkey (assistant Mark Clarke), as of course many of the players there.
“They have a few ex-Glapwell players and some that I work with through the youth system at Notts County, so I’m probably more well versed on Carlton than any other club in the division.
“But I have to be realistic - if we played Carlton 10 times they would probably win eight or nine. We are full of confidence at the minute, but to try to play Carlton at their own game would be suicidal, so we will have to change our system a little bit to cope with their strengths and work on a few things in training on Wednesday in preparation of the game, and hope to give a good account of ourselves.
“We then play Hucknall at home on New Year Monday, again another tough game but our home form has been good of late so we will probably be more adventurous as I think in order to survive you have to win your home games.
“Ii think we will be going into both games with a clean bill of health, but irrespective of these two games, from where we were with 11 points to be now on 24 after nine games in charge we are giving ourselves a chance to get to that all important 40 points marker that I think will take us very close to retaining our league membership.”