Jarrow Roofing head into tomorrow night’s Northern League Division One match at Seaham Red Star with boss, Richie McLoughlin, calling on his players to pull together and collect maximum points in the final game before Christmas, writes Andy Hudson.
The first half of Roofing’s season has seen a flurry of postponements, along with a high number of squad changes and interruptions – some of which being out of the control of the Roofing supremo.
With McLoughlin recently hailing his settled squad, the Roofing manager-chairman has again been caught out with the exit of long-serving Danny Carson to South Shields on Wednesday in a move that has caused him to hit out at his South Tyneside neighbours.
“Since day one of this season, we’ve had to fend off approaches for our players from South Shields,” McLoughlin said.
“A high volume of our playing squad have had an offer from Shields, and it’s testament to the loyalty of those who have stayed, that only three players have moved there from us.
“With the financial backing Shields have, can they not get their own players in or do they need me to scout for them first, then for them to take players directly from us?”
Roofing’s forward line received approaches from Mariners Park, with Lewis Teasdale eventually following Wayne Phillips in a move across South Tyneside.
And with Carson following the same route, McLoughlin has admitted that he, like the vast majority of Northern League clubs, aren’t in a position to retain players when the Mariners come calling.
“We’re in a position where holidays and vastly inflated wages are being thrown at players.
“Even if I was in a position to negotiate like that with players, I wouldn’t. And obviously, I understand why players have their head turned by that kind of offer.
“With the seven-day approach rule for non-contracted players in place, there’s always a risk that you’ll have squad movements, but what’s being offered to pluck players away is well over the odds of what a sensible person would consider in the Northern League. It’s reached a new level.
“Is there a strategy in place for Shields to rise at our expense?
“With the amount of players they’ve tried to take from us, then if there’s a similar number of approaches to other first division clubs, then you might be talking about 100-plus players having been on their radar.
“We want South Tyneside to be successful in a footballing sense, and our ambitions are well known to be a Northern League club.
“We’re not going to go up through the leagues – I couldn’t afford to or have the time to do so.
“But we want all teams to do the best that they can – whether it’s Shields, Hebburn or the Wearside and Alliance teams.
“All I want is to enjoy being in the Northern League and have lads playing at this club who will enjoy their football.
Jarrow Roofing started in the back room of the old Crusaders pub in Jarrow in the late 1980s and that’s been my aim since day one.
“We started with no money and we run on a Northern League budget. It’s obvious to anyone that we’re no threat to a club with ambitions above what we have.
“I’ll gladly help any club that asks for it, whether it’s players or advice on other aspects. But we’re not a feeder club for anyone.
“Hopefully, I can keep a settled squad from now until the end of the season. We’ve got a great dressing room atmosphere and I know that will generate points over the rest of the season.”
Kick-off at Seaham Town Park is at 7.30pm.