Toolstation NCEL Division One
Chairman Ralph Pearse admits Christian Fox has been like the Messiah for Selby Town as enthralled fans are flocking back to Fairfax Plant Hire Stadium.
Selby have dumbfounded the keyboard warriors as they currently sit in the play-offs after a series of squash-buckling performances which have seen them take teams apart.
Mr Pearse claims that the current side is the best Selby Town team he has seen in the “last ten years”.
The Selby chairman has hailed former Poppleton Town boss Fox for galvanising the club and he says he is not surprised that local people are arriving on mass for home matches.
“How do I sum the last six months up? It has been unbelievable,” Mr Pearse told Non League Yorkshire.
“I know a lot of people use that word, but to say Christian has come in from the York and District League and taken us to where we are is unbelievable.
“The football we are playing with local lads is outstanding. I haven’t seen football like this at Selby for ten years. It is one-touch football and it is fantastic to watch.
“We had over 250 people at the Halifax game on Tuesday and everyone is saying that the football that we are playing is superb.
“People are coming up to me in the bar after matches saying how much they are enjoying coming to matches – that hasn’t happened for a few years.
“He’s put smiles back on the faces of everyone at the club. There’s also people coming through the gate who we haven’t seen for maybe 18 months or more.
“I also believe if that we keep playing in the way we are doing, attendances are only going to go up. There’ll be more people who stopped watching the club a few years ago who will come back.
“We’re going in the right direction. We’re looking at having a new clubhouse and we’re looking to the future which looks better than what it did 12 months ago.
“I’m no longer having nightmares about Selby Town, I sleep like a baby and I can say this for all our volunteers, we all look forward to the matches now – and that is down to Christian and his team.”
Selby’s position in the league is even more stunning when you consider how results went in pre-season.
A series of defeats were followed up by hurtful comments from keyboard warriors who described Fox’s team as relegation fodder.
Mr Pearse said: “Christian answered the critics because he did take a battering in pre-season, but I remember another manager saying ‘well Ralph we’ve won again’ after friendlies.
“I always used to say ‘great stuff, but we’re still bottom of the league with the rest of them’.
“Pre-season means nothing.
“In the summer when we interviewed him we knew straightaway that Christian was the man for the job. His application was outstanding and he ticked all the boxes. We have been proved right.”
The well-viewed comments were not just restricted to raffle tickets. Twelve months on, Mr Pearse says most officials are co-operative.
“There’s still occasionally the problem of them coming with no money, but it is what is it,” he said.
“I think referees got the message last year. Somebody said to me ‘you must be hard up for £3’, but it isn’t a case of been hard up for £3, it is a case of putting something back into the clubs they visit. They are one of the biggest expenses at this level.
“Even if they don’t want to take a ticket, they can still put a pound in.
“They get good food, drinks when they come in, as well as half-time . They get well-looked after at Selby, so what’s a £1. They should contribute more.
“It is just every now and then when the officials don’t buy a raffle tickets. When I’m off my guard.”