Juniors’ secretary Coupland steps aside to take new role

Ackworth Juniors have made a change to their committee line-up with Andy Coupland handing over the reigns as secretary to Graham Ambler.

Coupland, is a familiar and respected face to many in the local footballing area and has been part of the furniture at Juniors for over a decade – firstly as a coach, then combining his role with that of secretary and overseeing some historic goals come to fruition – with his new role within the club being Girls Football Development Officer.

Coupland said: “I’ve got to be honest and it really doesn’t feel like I’ve been club secretary for nearly six years – during my time I think my proudest achievement has been the two Fun Days we have hosted at Carr Bridge, and in particular the first one in 2016 that stands out for me as a turning point when the club and supporters rallied to back my idea and we’ve gone from strength-to-strength since.

“Despite a few sleepless nights in the run-up to the Fun Day everything came together and it proved to be a fantastic way to bring the different age groups together and it really acted as a springboard to gather some momentum,” he added.

Coupland admitted when he took over the reigns the club was experiencing its lowest point in its history, he explained: “Things at the club like our Charter Standard had lapsed and we hadn’t had a summer Gala for seven or eight years, my aim when I stepped in was to pick up the pieces at the club, but in all honesty I didn’t realise just how big a job being secretary was and still is, but slowly with determination we got the club back on the rails.

He added: “I’ve enjoyed tremendous support and backing from so many individuals as well as coaches and sponsors who have been both generous with their hard-earned money and also with their precious time, that has amazed me time and time again.”

Coupland reflected: “Ackworth Juniors can boast 16 teams in total – we’ve never had that many – and all the building blocks we’ve put in place thanks largely to the help and time that the coaching staff put into the club we have again been awarded Charter Standard by the Football Association which is my view is an essential marque for any grassroots football club to have. I’ve known Graham (Ambler) for a number of years and know he’s the right man to take our club forward.” 
 
Taking over as new club secretary Ambler, himself also a Level 6 referee, is also coach of the Under 13’s team, who have enjoyed tremendous success in the Charles Rice and Doncaster & District JFL, over the last few years.

Ambler said: “I’m delighted to step-up and become secretary with all the challenges and opportunities that comes with helping to run a grassroots village football club. My aim is to continue and build on the great work Andy Coupland has overseen and achieved during his time as secretary.

He added: “It’s certainly not ‘goodbye’ to Andy and I’ll be watching on as Andy channels his efforts into strengthening and growing the number of girls teams we proudly have here at Ackworth. He has certainly put the village on the map and I believe the club is in a very healthy position.”

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