Just over 8 and a half years ago I received a phone call from Dan Steel at the RFL to say he’d been approached by a young James Evans who was keen start a team on the south coast and was I interested. Today, it’s time to say my time as Chairman of the Sussex Merlins is to end. Before I explain why please let me say that this has been one of the defining components of my life and it has been my honour to be part of it.
This club has and continues have some amazing people involved with it, from the coaches, members of the committee, sponsors, parents to anyone who has picked up a whistle, pulled on a shirt, washed one or cheered the players on I thank you for your support, time, effort and belief in us and the sport of Rugby League.
This is not the end of the Merlins it’s just time for me to hand over the reigns. It’s time for me to put myself and my family first. This club wouldn’t have got off the ground without my wife Lily, she sponsored our first kit through her company and has been the most supportive person I could wish for. She and our boys deserve to have back the 20 odd hours a week this role has taken, it’s also time for me to concentrate on my career.
I’d love to say that I’m leaving the club at it’s peak, but if there is one thing I’ve not managed to do it is to convince enough people to commit to the journey with us. Clubs like this only survive because of volunteers and people continuing to want to be part of it. Over the last couple of years our numbers have dropped across all age groups and overall that has to rest with me.
Eight and a half years is a long time. As a club we’ve achieved some amazing things when no one gave us a hope; rugby league in Sussex? Not a chance. Well, you’re all proof that if you believe enough amazing things can happen.
This club has a great future, and with people like Kieran and Steven developing the minis, the plan is sound. For now it’s time for me to say thank you for being part of my Sussex Merlins family.
Updated 14:44 - 9 Jan 2018 by nick weston