Going it alone is one of the toughest decisions you can make as a team, the risk verses reward can be heavily tilted towards the risk if you don’t get it right. Back in 2018 a small group of people within the team decided the risk was worth taking and we started the transition from team to club. I still see us as a group of revolutionaries desperate to seize control of our destiny and ensure that we have the best club available to us and for the women of the North West England and North Wales. That small group of revolutionaries eventually formed the committee that would become dedicated to creating a new women’s American football club and all the effort, hard work and stress that comes with it.
Due to my day job as a senior commercial manager, I was voted in as the General Manager (GM) and that’s when the harsh reality hit me, I was now responsible for forming this new club.
I am sure any GM will happily tell you that’s it’s a tough job, all the hours behind the scenes, all the constant thoughts going around in your head, basically the job just doesn’t stop, you must live and breathe for the club. One philosophy I have in life is that little things can make a big difference and I believe having a structured and organised club sets the foundations to build a well-run club.
Having a dedicated committee in place is the reason why we had everything we needed and more to enable the players to go out there and achieve what we did in our first season. Having people in place who have experience in the different areas required to run a club, giving the committee the free licence to make the role their own, allowing them to use their own creativity to come up with different ideas and opinions on all matters discussed in committee meetings took us exactly where we needed to be to create the club and the excellent brand of the Cheshire Bears, although admittedly I am biased.
The success of the club doesn’t just come from being well organised and structured, the coaches and the players willingness to succeed is what really drives the club forward. I have to say that more than any other season that I have witnessed, the commitment, effort and desire to succeed from all our coaches and players last season was second to none. I constantly pushed the agenda of “lets show everyone what women can do when given a chance” and I firmly believe that’s what we did.
I know we didn’t win the league this season and this blog may very well read like we did, I don’t apologise for this, because in my mind I couldn’t have asked for anything more from the club as the General Manager, we achieved so much more than just winning the title and this is only the beginning…….
By Arran Harrison