HE came into the role blindfolded, and Brian Robson admits that he has had a real eye opener after settling into the job as football secretary of Ashington CFC.
Now six months in the post with the Woodhorn Lane- based outfit, Robson, an engineering buyer for a firm in Morpeth, is enjoying life – having endured a hectic baptism.
“I was asked to take over as football secretary at the club as Gavin Perry was stepping down,” said the 50-year-old, who lives in the town.
“For ten years, I’d been operations manager at a boys’ club where my son also played football, and I knew Ashington manager Gary Middleton.
“When Gary realised that I had left the boys’ club he told me that he would like me to get involved at Ashington because he had seen what work I had done.
“I was then approached by vice-chairman Peter Moran who said the club would like me to be involved in some capacity.
“My response was that it would have to be the right kind of job, something meaningful that I could really contribute too because I knew the club had a good set up.
“I knew the people involved at Ashington and I had a lot of faith in them.”
However, Robson – a football fanatic who has been a lifelong season ticket holder with Newcastle United and is a great follower of the England national team – was taken aback when approached to be football secretary.
“Peter came back and asked if I would like to take over as football secretary because Gavin Perry was stepping down.
“I wasn’t really expecting that job to be honest because it is a really important one at the football club.
“But after discussing things over with a few people, including my family because it is a massive commitment, I said yes.”
And Robson has been astounded by the amount of work involved behind the scenes at the Northern League club.
“The vast majority of people don’t realise how much effort and work you have to put into it – and I’ve got to admit that I’ve had my eyes opened big time to be honest – but it is nevertheless a very rewarding role.
“When you move into senior football, it’s all rules and regulations and making sure it’s done right.
“I’ve done everything now from signing an international player to calling off a very important match – Ashington’s FA Carlsberg Vase clash with Bodmin Town in Cornwall due to weather conditions which seemed to cause a lot of consternation with fans who couldn’t understand why it was done, but hopefully I addressed that following the decision.
“The job is really not an easy one, but it’s a case of so far so good.
“Ashington is a fantastic football club with great supporters and I would urge supporters both young and old to visit Woodhorn Lane and watch some great football at a fraction of the cost of the current Premier League.”