Wisbech Town boss Appleby hits out at ‘mischief makers’ on club’s fans forum

WISBECH Town boss Steve Appleby has hit out at the “mischief makers” on the club’s fans forum and insisted that there are no divisions at board level.

The fed-up Fenmen boss reacted furiously to a summer of discontent on the club’s fans forum with almost daily rumours being posted about players and internal problems at the club.

Appleby - who revealed he has spent every day on the phone since winning the Ridgeons League Challenge Cup Final in May - has finally decided to express his dismay.

Appleby said: “Certain fans need to get off the board’s back, stop criticising the directors and start supporting the club to help us move forward.

“They’ve always done what they think is in the best interests for the club, they don’t get paid for it and they volunteer because they love the club. They don’t have to do it and they don’t owe anybody anything.

“They’ve always been behind me and all of these rumours about a split at board level are not true. These mischief makers need to appreciate what our directors do for the club and I don’t know why they’re spreading lies.

“I’m as honest a person as you’ll get so I hope people come to the fans forum and we get this dealt with face to face.”

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The bitter departures of Paul Cousins and Callum Reed to King’s Lynn Town have hardly helped Appleby’s mood this summer. But it’s rumours on the forum - such as reports that the club’s reserve side will have a budget this season - which have really got the cup-winning boss’ back up.

Appleby said: “It’s the worst summer I’ve known. I’ve literally not had a day where I haven’t been on the phone trying to keep players, trying to convince players to join or meeting players.

“I’ve had enough about the continual rumours on the forum about untrue things like the reserves budget. Everything we’ve done, including sorting pre-season friendlies, has been questioned and it’s just been one thing after another. I’m a bit tired of continually being questioned.

“This is all on the back of winning a cup and finishing fourth. I have thought to myself what on earth would it be like if we won the league?

“I’ve even tried to be as honest and as open as I can be on the forum as well and that hasn’t seemed to help either.”

Appleby is now enjoying a week off work and revealed he will also spend seven days dealing without issues regarding Wisbech Town.

The honest 44-year-old, who played for Kettering Town and Boston United during an illustrious non-league playing career, said: “Now my time off from actual work has began I’m turning my phone off. I just need a break from it all.

“Chris Dear (assistant) is a quality lad and the club’s in capable hands while I’m away.

“It’s all really started to grind on me a bit and people need to remember that the people at the club have got jobs too. We’re all passionate about Wisbech Town but it’s a secondary thing in one sense. I just can’t wait for the football to get started now and it all might quieten down.”

The Fenmen boss - who has lost Cousins, Reed, Lea Jordan and Andy Furnell from his cup-winning side since the end of last season - revealed he only learned that midfielder Adam Weston was going to leave the club through other local press.

Appleby, himself a midfielder during his playing days, said: “I’m a bit in the dark about Adam. He had an up and down time last year with injuries and never really got going although he did well for a bit.

“He text me at the end of the season and said he’d enjoyed it and couldn’t wait for pre-season. I’ve tried to contact him two or three times and then I see in the paper that he’s agreed to join Deeping Rangers.

“I’m not too disappointed though because although he’s got fantastic potential we didn’t really see it. You can’t miss what you haven’t had.”

However, Appleby revealed the capture of Boston United centre-half Simon Ashton - who has verbally agreed to join the Fenmen - has given him a timely boost in many ways during his busiest summer in management yet.

The man who led Wisbech to their first trophy in 16 years less than two months ago said: “Simon’s only 19 but he’s gone up in my estimation for how magnificently he’s conducted himself. He’s been really, really refreshing.

“My Boston connections helped us get him but he wanted to know about the club, myself and then asked to take some time to think about it all which I respected.

“We didn’t announce anything for a while when he’d agreed to join because he wanted to speak to all the managers who were interested in him first - and believe me there were a few.

“I’ve got a lot of respect for Ashton already. He’s a level-headed lad and a fantastically bright footballer. He’s a towering defender, superb in the air and he can get the ball down and play.

“We’ve brought in three players this summer - Neal Spafford, Simon Ashton and Liam Nimmo - who have played at a higher level. It’s a statement of our intent and I want people here who want to play for this club and do well. This is why I’ve given Chris Horton his chance in goal because he’s really up for it.

“You always need to be on the lookout for new players if you want to improve and I think we have done that this summer despite losing a few players.

“I’ve still got a couple of irons in the fire and I’m looking to bring in a couple of midfielders before we kick-off in August.”