Griff faces challenging dual role at the Corinium Stadium
SCOTT GRIFFIN has the challenge of a new dual role at relegated Cirencester Town this season.
On a Saturday afternoon, the striker will be expected to do what he is renowned for – putting the ball in the net, when the side begins its campaign back in the Southern League Div 1 South and West.
From 9-5, Monday to Friday, he will take on the full-time post of office manager, with responsibility for the administration of all the club’s teams from Brian Hughes’s first XI down to the youngest junior squad.
In addition, he has been tasked with driving up function sales, marketing the club and bringing in new sponsorship.
Griffin, 33 last week and a family man with four children, had a year at the Cirencester Academy under Dave Hockaday and is currently in his fourth spell at the club.
If he was not part of the furniture at the Corinium Stadium before, he is now.
“I’m excited by the challenge,” he told me. “For ten years I worked in the financial sector and I’m now serving out my notice in an administrative post within the NHS in Gloucester. I start at Ciren on July 17.
“I looked at all the ground’s empty advertising boards at the end of last term and I said to Hughesie and Steve (Abbley) that could fill them. We’ll soon see whether I am right.
“I went to a sporting dinner at Swindon Town’s County Ground last week – it was a Who’s Who of businesses in the area – and I think I did some valuable networking. I am hoping to land running.”
Griffin was brought back to the club by Hughes in the second half of last season and although he could not prevent the side’s freefall towards relegation, he was quickly back among the goals.
“I ended up top scorer with seven goals which sums up the problem with the side last season,” said Griff.
“I’m going into pre-season injury-free for the first time in years and I still believe I can score 20 goals a season.”
Hughes has lost the services of senior players like Wayne Turk, Nathan Davies and Jody Bevan, but he expects the majority of last term’s squad to return.
“Of course, you don’t know for sure who is going to turn up until they sign their forms on July 3, but I am expecting all the old faces, including Richard Mansell and Matt Sysum back after their knee surgery,” said Hughes.
With chairman Abbley pledging not to bolster the playing budget as he had done to the tune of £60,000 in each of the last two seasons, Hughes is working on a shoestring and that will have an impact on his back room staff, too.
“Tony Dunne, our sport therapist, has given up, as his son Jamie has now gone off to university,” said Hughes. “Tony showed great loyalty travelling in from Aylesbury.
“Hopefully, some of the senior players like Jonah (James Mortimer-Jones) can help out with the coaching, because I am going to have to see the budget on the field.
“I still believe we will have a competitive side for this division, so let’s come back fighting and give it a go.”
Swindon Town have refused the offer of a pre-season warm-up game with Ciren – what had become the Gloucestershire club’s most lucrative payday of the season – but five pre-season friendlies are already in place. They are: Tuesday, July 17 – Forest Green Rovers (H); Saturday, July 21 – Fairford Town (A); Tuesday, July 24 – Bath City (H); Saturday, July 28 – Gloucester City (H); Thursday, Aug 2 – Longlevens (A).
The club is currently negotiating with the Hellenic League for the Development Team to find a place in one of the reserve divisions, although their name did not appear in the constitution of divisions published at the Hellenic AGM last week.