SPECIAL REPORT: Tulips look to go forward with fresh challenges

The Sir Halley Stewart Field, Spalding
The Sir Halley Stewart Field, Spalding
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Spalding United manager Pat Rayment has revealed key areas of the club’s blueprint for the future.

The Tulips’ plans off the pitch will be announced when a takeover by a consortium of local investors is completed.

Rayment is ready to lead the team into a new era as they look to move again up the football pyramid.

He said: “We had a two-year plan where we wanted to get out of the United Counties League and we achieved that.

“Now I believe we have established ourselves as a Step Four team.

“Although it was hugely disappointing to miss out on the play-offs in the manner in which we did at the end of last season, it probably wasn’t the worst thing to happen.

“We need a stronger and more stable structure. I think if we had reached Step Three then it would have put us under added strain. As a club we are definitely not ready.

“The football side has out-stripped what is happening off the pitch.

“The budget has got to be used more wisely and I know I’m guilty as the manager because I bring in the players.

“This is a brand new start for the football club.

“We will have new faces and new challenges as we go in a different direction.

“The club needs to be made to feel part of the community as well. These are not just words.

“Spalding has a population which is large enough and as a club we need to tap into that, especially with the younger generation of supporters.

“You only have took at what they have achieved at Fleetwood Town with six promotions in ten years.

“It has happened to other clubs but a town the size of Spalding must support its club.

“We can help on the social side by keeping kids off the streets and getting more of them interested in sport. But all this needs to be endorsed by South Holland District Council as well.

“One of my former clubs Corby Town reminds me of how Spalding used to be. 
Now look at them with a new stadium and the council’s backing.

“Geographically we are sandwiched between Stamford and Boston.

“Last season Stamford moved into their new ground and we know Boston United have got planning permission for a stadium to be built.

“If we don’t match those clubs then we will fall further behind. We have got to move forward and provide a future for football in the town.

“On the football side we can only complete with the likes of Stamford if we have got a platform to build on.”