Athletic boss Funk: Fans are the key to our success

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SCARBOROUGH Athletic boss Rudy Funk is aiming to get closer to the fans in the second half of the 2011-2012 campaign.

This has been one of the toughest and closest seasons according to boss Funk, though he is still eyeing a push for glory.

He said: “The fans are something special. Love us or hate us, they give us everything they have.

“In the New Year I am looking to forge much closer links with our supporters because they do deserve it.

“I want to have a chat with my chairman Dave Holland and the Supporters Club chairman Ken Patterson about having a regular get-together with the fans.

“This will give them the chance to learn a bit more information straight from the horse’s mouth.

“If you don’t have the information then people tend to speculate. That doesn’t do anybody any good.

“If we can meet up and answer direct questions then I think it will gel us together as a unit.”

Funk added: “We are very happy with how things have gone in the first half of the season. The work that everybody at the club has been putting in is unbelievable.

“I can’t thank the people behind the scenes and the board enough, and I also can’t thank my players enough.

“The players have been terrific to get us where we are in the table, but for some it hasn’t been easy.

“I know every club has its problems, but we have definitely had ours this season.

“Gary Hepples is the perfect example of the sort of player we need at this club. He puts his heart and soul into it.

“Gary has had a number of problems in his life, such as the illness of his dad, family setbacks and a new job, so sometimes we have had to give him a weekend off to take the pressure away from him.

“It is the same with a lot of our players. Joe Naylor has changed his shift pattersn to travel up from Nottingham, Daz Winters has had to alter his coaching around and Ed Eley, who is red and white through and through, has been travelling up from Buxton just to watch games.

“Not one of the lads in the squad wants to mis-place a pass, lose out in a tackle or miss a chance.”

Funk said: “It has been a superb first half to the season though, having spoken to my coaching staff, we are all super-delighted by how it has all gone.

“Obviously we would want to be top by 20 points at this stage, but it is such a tough league this time out.

“I have been managing at this level for some time and it is by far the toughest I have ever seen it.

“It is good for us though because we look forward to every game and it is good for the fans because they have some great matches to watch.

“There are some really interesting fixtures coming up in the New Year, lets look forward to them together.”