NPL season preview: Wisbech FC manager Seb Hayes: job is a “massive task” as Fenmen prepare for Leek Town opener
Wisbech Town FC manager Seb Hayes said the job is the biggest he’s ever had and a “massive task” as the Fenmen begin their NPL campaign on Saturday at home to Leek Town.
The Elgood’s Fenland Stadium outfit may be a relatively small fish in this Step 4 Northern Premier League Division One South East pond but he doesn’t want Wisbech to just make up the numbers in their second season at this level.
The newly-appointed ex-Holbeach United boss, who has overhauled near enough the whole squad, calls for patience from fans and said: “It’s the biggest job I’ve ever had.
“I’ve managed some big clubs at Step 5 but I haven’t managed at Step 4.
“It’s a massive task but I don’t want to be in a relegation battle.”
It is very much a change of era as long-standing players like Jon Fairweather departed over the summer, and Hayes has had to sign a team’s worth of players.
He added: “Last season we finished fourth from bottom. No manager will want to arrive here on May 31 and change everything.
“I was able to retain a few and bring back Aaron Hart and Layton Maddison.”
Playing catch-up has taken time, as Hayes revealed, not helped by a lack of a reserve or under-18 side leading to a shallow pool of players at the club: “It’s not an ideal situation.
“If it had been mid-April (when he arrived) I know I would have got a squad together.
“I spoke to players and they already had an offer elsewhere. It’s hard to come in late and build a squad.
“I don’t want to sign players who aren’t good enough.
“I’m on the phone probably every day of the week and probably a few hours a day.
“I haven’t stopped since I arrived.”
He also commented: “There’s going to be a lot of honesty from me. There’ll be no hiding place.
“I need time and the fans that are coming are getting behind us. We’ve had about 130 come through the gate in friendlies.”
After this coming weekend’s home clash with Leek, Wisbech complete a pretty swift turnaround in opening week with a Wednesday trip to Worksop Town.
The Fenmen drew their final pre-season friendly 0-0 against Soham Town Rangers.
Hayes threw on his subs and switched them around in order to break the deadlock, to no avail.
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Wisbech: Dan Farrell, Aaron Hart, Liam Marshall, Callam Traynor, Sam Spencer, Jay Whyatt, Callum Milne, Joel Earps, Layton Maddison, James Tricks, Jurelle Philip.Subs: Rheiss McLean, Phil Bilson, Trialist.
Wisbech welcome Ely City to the Elgood’s Fenland Stadium in two weeks’ time in the Emirates FA Cup Preliminary Round. The winners will pocket £2,890.
Ely won 2-1 at Potton United.
More by this authorPete Woodhouse