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Quick Q&A with Andy Walker. Volunteers Week

Author: Liam Whitehead, 07/06/17

Andy Walker

Quick Q&A with Andy Walker, under 12s Manager, for Volunteers Week

1. What do you do as a volunteer at Stalybridge Celtic Juniors?
I manage/coach (next years) under 13 Blues team and have been known to write the odd match report for that team and (next year's) under 9s

2. How long have you been involved with the club?
I played for Celtic Juniors way back in the early 80's, starting at about under 11's , playing for Jack Hammersley and Brian Cross.  My dad got involved and I played for him through to u16's. My dad stayed connected to the club and became chairman. My mum has been treasurer for longer than she would admit to. I "reconnected" with the club in about 2010 when my eldest started coming to the soccer school. My other lad came a few years later. I finally relented 12 months ago and (after initially saying it would be just for one game!) agreed to become a coach.

3. Do you have any other experience in grassroots football?
no

4. What do you find is the biggest challenge?
keeping everyone happy.  Making sure that the kids are having a good time and all feel that they are contributing

5. What do you find is the biggest reward?
being part of a fantastic community football club that has always been there providing football to kids of all abilities for decades.  The lasting friendships, memories and bonds that grow from that. I often have adults coming up to me telling me about how they still look back on their time at Celtic with fondness,  playing for my dad's teams with their mates.  It's fantastic seeing that develop in the kids I coach.  Its not about creating the next Beckham (though obviously we try!)- for 99.999% of them, their football experience will be just this; playing in a team with their mates.  If, in 10-20 years time they are still enjoying their football, still having a go at 5-a-side or whatever with their mates, and still looking back fondly on the time I coached them then I've done my job

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