Scarborough Athletic chairman Bull hoping for more after top 2018
The year of 2018 has seen Scarborough Athletic maintain their rise up the leagues and also continue their progress off the park.
Chairman Trevor Bull is delighted with how things have gone, but he has underlined that the club won’t rest on their laurels.
The wave of positivity started in their early months of the year and this resulted in Boro sweeping their way to second place in the Evo-Stik North.
Bull said: “The year started with a bang with that fantastic trip up to South Shields.
“Nobody expected us to do anything, but we came away with a really good performance and three points, that got everybody at the club right back on it.
“The league season just kept going from strength to strength after this and the rivalry with Hyde United really helped us.
“We knew that we had to win matches because they were snapping at our heels all season.
“The big crowds also helped us because that made a big difference to the team. They were walking into the ground feeling 10 feet tall.
“When we clinched it at Colne, I was a complete wreck that day.
“A lot of us had been working seven days a week for a year to achieve something.
“All of a sudden you are stood with 90 minutes for it all to go right or wrong.
“It wasn’t pressure, it was emotional. I wanted it for Steve (Kittrick), Mark (Mark Hume), the players, the fans and everyone at the club.
“I also wanted it for me because I’m a fan like everybody else.
“When James Walshaw’s goal went in that sealed it, I burst into floods of tears. Fred (Firman) shouted over to Steve and said: ‘Kitty, he’s gone, we need to change chairman.’
“After the match I went into the changing room with Fred to thank the players and I fell to pieces there as well.
“I think they saw what it meant to us. I don’t think many had played for a supporter-owned club before.
“All we do, every week, is earn money to pay players to win matches.
“So that makes you appreciate it more when you win because you’ve had a part to play in it.”
Boro are currently handily placed heading into the second half of the campaign, though in recent weeks there has been a slight dip in form.
“One of the things we’ve learned over the past 12 months is that we have a much bigger fan base from when we were in Bridlington,” Bull added.
“All the returning fans haven’t got used to seeing us losing because they’ve never seen it.
“They obviously weren’t there when we were really bad a few years ago.
“We set out out our stall at the start of last season and said that we want to get into the National League North within three years.
“We are half-way to where we want to be and we still have two years to achieve it.
“If somebody had said to me in August that we’d have 40 points on the board at this stage of the season and second in a much tougher league, we’d have snapped their hands off.”
“We couldn’t run the club or afford the playing budget without all the volunteers we have.
“I want to thank them all.
“I’m not sure that all of our supporters realise that we are a fan-run club.
“You see people on social media criticising, but we just want the best for the club.
“We just love the club like everyone else, it’s just that we (Directors) volunteered and were elected by our owners (supporters) to run the club. We will continue to do our best for our club.
“The local businesses continue to be fantastic, we couldn’t run the football club without that level of sponsorship.
“The overheads are massive compared to when we were in Bridlington.
“Our security currently costs nearly as much as the playing budget was when we first formed the club.”
And security and crowd issues is something that has put a dampener on the past 12 months.
Bull said: “One main disappointment is the trouble that we’ve had off the field at matches.
“It has been minimal, but we just don’t need it.
“We are promoting ourselves as a family club, but we seem to attract a small minority that don’t know how to behave.
“It has taken up more of our time than getting the new stand built or focusing on winning football matches.
“Of course this also takes money away from the playing budget as well.
“These people are saying ‘Scarborough til I die’, but they are just doing harm to the club.
“It isn’t right for us, it isn’t right for our supporters and it isn’t right for local residents.
“We continue to work very hard with the local police to stamp it out.”
With a new Donkey Field stand on the horizon, Bull is keen to concentrate on the positives though.
“Thinking about the next 12 months, it will be really exciting,” he added.
“Hopefully we will be battling to get up and because of that we won’t start building the new stand until May. The reasons being economic and fan experience.
“If we started before the end of the season we’d have to reduce our attendance by around 500, so we’d be stopping supporters coming to watch matches.
“It is a really quick build because it is lightweight steel. The whole build between start to finish takes 12 weeks.
“So we should be ready for the start of the new season.
“That will make it look and feel like a football stadium, one we can all be proud of.”