Wilkinson & Mayne reappointed for 2018

Melville United have reappointed Sam Wilkinson and Michael Mayne as northern league (and academy) coaches for 2018, rolling over the terms of their contracts for a further year.

A coaching report was tabled at the club’s September management committee meeting, summarising an end-of-season debrief which highlighted the strengths and weaknesses of the 2017 northern league campaign and academy activity, and on the motion of club director of football Steve Williams, the pair were unanimously re-confirmed.

While Melville failed with the ultimate objective of gaining promotion, chairman Bruce Holloway said most of the underlying fundamentals from the northern league campaign were excellent, and in any other first division season since three points was introduced for a win in 1983, their 50-point tally would have been enough.

Mayne and Wilkinson had been rewarded by becoming only the second coaches (behind life member Steve Williams) to be offered a second successive season in charge in the modern era (post 1996).

“Sam and Michael have had an infectious presence at Gower Park and made a strong impression in their debut season as Melville coaches,” Holloway said. “Their planning and preparation has been meticulous, they have been highly motivated and dedicated in everything they have done, and have earned widespread respect.

“They have shown the passion to match that of any life member, and also brought fresh ideas which have challenged existing thinking and practices in many spheres of club life.

“While that has occasionally created friction, it has been invaluable in rethinking what we do and why, and Sam and Michael’s methods of work have been very positive for the club.

“I think they’re the best young coaches operating at this level.”

When the pair were originally appointed in October 2016 there were concerns in some quarters about whether the chain of command would be functional enough in what was essentially an unproven two-coach job-share set-up.

“But it has worked seamlessly in practice, to the extent that the only over-riding concern has been the risk of burnout from the pair trying to do so much.”

Mayne was “absolutely delighted” to be back for 2018.

“We have unfinished business,” he said. “I’m very excited to be getting the ball rolling again for next season.

Michael Mayne: Pleased with the club culture.

“We made good inroads this year with new initiatives and I’m happy with the culture we built, and the manner in which the club has supported what we have done. I’m looking forward to another positive year.”

Wilkinson also said it was good to be back.

Sam Wilkinson: Good to be back.

“Yes, we did miss promotion but we laid a good foundation with the first team and especially with the academy,” he said.

“We came in with big plans and nothing we have seen since has changed that. I think we are in a position to really push the club forward next year.”

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