Toolstation NCEL Division One
Chairman/manager Lee Morris says Armthorpe Welfare are making huge strides towards achieving their aims of becoming the hub of the community.
The former Frickley Athletic and Worsbrough Bridge boss is Jack of all trades at Armthorpe and he’s leading a band of volunteers who are hoping to bring unprecedented crowds to the Doncaster-based club in the coming years.
Morris says his club has big potential and they are working around the clock to unlock it.
“When I arrived at the club I basically fell in love with it,” Morris said in his first interview with Non League Yorkshire since 2019.
“It may surprise you but not many people know about Armthorpe (Welfare) in Armthorpe.
“We’re moving into the community and we’re making people more aware of us.
“It is a sleeping giant if you ask me.
“Off-the-pitch we’re working hard to get more revenue in and more people through the gate.
“We’re doing the bar up and myself and (assistant) Rhys (Meynell) were there while 9pm smashing walls (on Wednesday) so we’re hands on and everyone involved in the club are together as a unit.
“We’re here to push this club forward.
“At this moment in time I have my mind in two camps.
“I want to push the junior section and the crowds.
“We had the biggest crowds the club has had for a long time last season so can we build on that again?
“That comes with results. Can we push that side?
“They come hand in hand.
“If we can push the results on-the-pitch we’ll get more people through the turnstiles.
“Ultimately what I want to do is build a club that when I do step away, it is ready for the next step, self-sufficient and have a great fan-base.
“I want us back in the Premier Division in three seasons and I want an average of 150 to 200 crowds a week.
“People might think that’s not possible, but if you haven’t got aspirations, there’d be no point turning up.
“The junior section is a big plus for us and everything is set-up behind the scenes to get more people through the gate.
“Rome wasn’t built in a day so it may take a few seasons for things to come fruition, but I’m more than positive that we can definitely increase the gates and improve where we are in the league.”
Morris ascended to the chairman’s throne in March, near the end of his first full campaign in the Armthorpe dugout.
Armthorpe finished a respectable 13th and even flirted with the play-offs and the Welfare head honcho was satisfied with their campaign.
“We took over during the pandemic which was difficult for any manager,” he said.
“We then had to start from scratch and get players in.
“We wanted to push for the play-offs, but a mid-table finish, I’d have took it at the start of the season.
“I think we stabilised the club last season and it has given us a platform to build from for the coming season.
“We want to keep growing season by season and pick up young players who are hungry and buy into how we want to do things.”
Although big guns Hallam and North Ferriby have gone, the league is set to be just as tough according to Morris.
“If the rumours are true about Wakefield’s (wealth) then they’ll have the resources to get the players to compete at the top of the league,” he said.
“I think Brigg will be up there having had a fantastic season and Harrogate Railway will be strong again.
“Staveley will up there as well.
“It will be tough to break into the top six.
“You’re going to have a very good season to break into the top six.”