Steeton boss surpasses 500 with Harrogate and Bury games
STEETON boss Roy Mason will hit the magic 500 game mark this week, a milestone he says he is “extremely proud” of.
The longtime boss has been at the helm of the Chevrons for more than 15 years and helped transform them from a struggling West Riding County Amateur League Premier League team into an exciting Northern Premier Division team. the League of Northwestern Counties.
He hits his quintuple century tonight at the West Riding County Cup at Harrogate Railway, and Game 501 is set to be a thriller filled at home against phoenix club Bury AFC in the league next Monday.
Speaking of his success, Mason said: “This is an important step and of which I am extremely proud.
“When I took on the job, I never expected to have nearly 500 games.
“The club means a lot to me, and I am privileged that they let me manage here for so long.”
It wasn’t all easy, however, and Mason admitted in a previous interview with the Keighley News that he found things difficult to deal with earlier in the season.
But he said: “In football you have ups and downs, and I tell my players to enjoy the ups, because unfortunately you have so many downs, as I can attest to for 15 years.
“Football and this club have changed a lot since I arrived and my first season has probably been more difficult than any other,
“I only arrived a few weeks before the start of the season and most of the players had just left.
“At first it was difficult to get a team out, but I was tasked with keeping us in the County Amateur Premier Division, and after we stayed on our feet we quickly moved into the Premier Division.
“But to go from that to now being established outside the league as we are is special, and a lot of energy and effort had to be put on and off the pitch to make that happen.
“Since we went to the Northwest Counties we’ve had the complications of having to play Cougar Park and moving to Marley, so it’s good that this is our first full season in the all-out division. go smoothly behind the scenes. ”
One of Mason’s proudest achievements was reaching the West Riding County Challenge Cup final at Elland Road in 2014, but even those days are now gone, with potential cup opponents including Bradford ( Park Avenue) and FC Halifax Town, as opposed to teams. like Field and Goole United.
Speaking about what it’s like to face the big boys, Mason said, “Tackling clubs this size is special, just like competing in a county cup competition.
“You always put the league first, but it’s good to have a good cup run.
“If we can beat Harrogate tonight, we’ll face a tough quarterfinal at Brighouse, but it’s another chance to measure ourselves against a team at a higher level, and we can just go out and enjoy it.”
After that comes the tantalizing Holiday Monday match at Marley against undefeated Bury, a match Mason can’t wait.
He said: “We have faced Bury twice since they joined our league last season and we have pushed them hard both times, losing only 3-2 and 4-3.
“We tried them in both games and it almost paid off for us.
“It’s a bit of a free kick in the sense that they’re second in the table and undefeated, but they’re not exactly running away this season, and we’ve already shown that we can give them a close game.”
A huge crowd is about to show up for this game next Monday, and Mason was enthusiastic: “To date (Monday), we have sold just under 600 tickets.
“I was at the Campion game when they hosted Bury on Saturday because we had a free weekend and they told me they sold 100 that day so we’re looking at a crowd of around 750 probably. for next week, which is fantastic for us.
“When I first arrived we often had crowds of around 10 people, which shows how far we’ve come.
“I hope we can take this great opportunity next Monday, without any real pressure, and give ourselves a chance.
“We got close to them a few times like I said, so why not try to make the third time lucky?”