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Future's bright for Wisbech Town chairman Paul Brenchley

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Wisbech Town may have been relegated to Step 5 of the non-league football pyramid, but there’s certainly no self pity at the club.

Defeat to champions Ilkeston Town saw the Fenmen’s four seasons back at Step 4 come to an end but, with the appointment of a permanent manager and some other ambitious projects announced, the future is looking bright.

After making temporary boss Allan Ross’ appointment long term at the weekend, chairman Paul Brenchley has also revealed plans for a 3G pitch and a floodlight upgrade.

FINAL WHISTLE: End of season delight for an Ilkeston player and despair for his Wisbech counterpart
FINAL WHISTLE: End of season delight for an Ilkeston player and despair for his Wisbech counterpart

And with clubhouse income on the rise, and a new Under-18 squad, allied with the reserves - meaning a clear pathway to the first team - the structure at the club is better than it has been for years.

With the FA deciding 2022/23 placings in the next couple of weeks, most projections see Wisbech in the United Counties League Premier North next season, although there is a chance they will be in the South division or even the Eastern Counties League, which they have graced for many years.

Brenchley said: “At the end of the day, we cannot do it at Step Four. Geographically it’s tough getting players in, which is why it’s us, Soham and Histon down the bottom. Yaxley stayed up, but they are closer to Peterborough and can pull from there.

Wisbech Town chairman Paul Brenchley
Wisbech Town chairman Paul Brenchley

“If we are in the UCL North, the travelling will be similar to what we do now and there will be some games against teams such as Deeping Rangers, Boston Town and perhaps March.

“The budget should stay the same next season and I would like to think if we start winning games then the attendances will go up.

“And hopefully we can have an FA Cup run and one in the FA Vase too, now we can compete in that again.

“I’d like to think we can finish in the top six in whatever league we are placed in, settle at that level and then push for promotion. I’ve always wanted this club to have a good, mid-table Step 4 side.”

On the permanent appointment of Ross, who has been in charge since February, Brenchley added: “If we can keep the local players we have and add some more I think we can do well under Allan. I am impressed that he wants to get rid of the divide between the first team and the reserves, and the Under-18s, which we will have next season.

“He will get first teamers playing in the reserves when they’re coming back from injury, which should not be a stigma. And he’s already pulled in Dan Hempson from the reserves to play in the run-in.

“He wants the players from all the teams numbered from one to 60 and to break that barrier between teams. They will train together in pre-season before the squads are divided and I think he will give reserve players a chance.”

Brenchley is proud that he has made the club self sufficient during his decade at the helm, and hopes plans for a 3G pitch and increased use of the clubhouse will generate even more income.

He added: “The pitch plan is going to happen. Whether it involves a third party or we fund it ourselves, we will have a 3G surface. We are going to improve the floodlights too.

“We are looking at 25-30 hours per week rental at £20-per-hour for the new pitch. The clubhouse is also getting used a lot more now and we have lots of functions and parties.

“When I first came into the club 10 or so years ago we were always struggling financially and would have to borrow from directors. My first priority was to make the club self-sufficient and it is now.

“The projects I am planning with the new pitch and the clubhouse will bring more pennies in the coffers, meaning we can add more to the playing budget.”

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