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The Riley Report

Submitted by Colin Wilson on Saturday, 31 July 2021

The first of a regular report from our manager Steve Riley on how he sees things in the life of RCA.

Good afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen

Firstly I would like to start by welcoming our opponents and neighbours Ryhope CW to Sunderland LGV Park. I have fond memories of my time with the CW with Swaz. I’m sure as fans you will be looking forward to the game, and it doesn’t get much harder than starting the season with a derby game.

These are my first programme notes of the season, and my first since being appointed as manager of the club.

The club has had to make quite a few changes over the close season due to martin’s resignation and a host of players leaving the clubprior to my appointment, meaning we have had to have a major rebuild of the playing squad. Myself and my two assistants, Leon and Dan, have worked tirelessly over the last two months to get a side together that we think will compete well in the league.

Obviously, when bringing so many players into a team it takes time for them to settle in, get used to different training methods and formations, as well as gelling as a team., but to the players credit they came into pre season training and have worked extremely hard to hopefully be ready in time for the start of the season.

Sadly COVID has played a part in our training, meaning we had to cancel a couple of training sessions, and also games, which unfortunately has meant. that we may be a little behind where I would want us to be at this stage. I am sure however that the determination and willingness to do well for the club will help us through the early stages of the season and allow us to improve as a group.

I feel that with everyone fit and available for a sustained period of games will give us a great opportunity of getting positive results on a regular basis to climb the league and progress in the cups. I think it will be a very close league this year and any team can cause us an upset if we are not playing to our maximum.

We have proved already in preseason that we can play good football as results against Shildon, Synners and Ryton show, but we must be doing this consistently to achieve our targets, and most of ll be defensively sound to gain points.

I’m still working hard at the moment to bring in one or two players, but we must be patient as most players are tied down. Having said that when our Club Captain Greg Swansbury returns that will be a huge boost for the team as he is such a good defender, and a leader in the dressing room.

I would like to finish by wishing Swaz the very best of luck in whatever he decides to do. He was great for this club as you all know, and he still cares passionately about his football. He put everything into working to make the club successful before me and in our time together at the club. We have a very good relationship, he is a good friend and I know he will be around to help however he can if asked.

We must move forward together as a club, with everyone pulling in the same direction for us to be successful; and I know that is what the board, the fans, and I myself want.

I will be writing in the next programme and on the website my thoughts for the future, but I would also say to everyone feel free to see me in the bar after the game for a chat about my vision for our club’s future, or just my thoughts on the game. Thanks for your continued support.