Former Padiham boss won’t let emotions take over

Padiham celebrate promotion in 2013. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard
Padiham celebrate promotion in 2013. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard

Former Storks boss Steve Wilkes won’t dramatise his reunion with his former employers tomorrow when Padiham arrive at Townfield.

The one-time Preston North End midfielder appreciates that it will be a strange experience going up against his old club having spent the best part of a decade at the Arbories but his sole focus is on getting maximum points for Northwich Victoria.

Wilkes took charge of more than 500 games during his stay with the Storks and engineered promotion to the Evo-Stik First Division North but his reign ended in unceremonious circumstances.

Ahead of the Hallmark Security Premier Division clash, he said: “I’m not going to dramatise it and I’m not going to be controversial either.

“It will be a strange experience for me because it’s been my football club for 10 years and I’ve managed more than 500 games in that time.

“I had 10 very good years there but the way it ended will always hurt. My focus is on Northwich Victoria and my job is to keep them in this division so we can have a good crack next season.

“Padiham mean nothing to me now. Coming to Northwich has been a breath of fresh air. It’s a proper football club and we’ve got some good footballers in our side.”

Wilkes added: “I don’t wish any harm towards Padiham, I’ll shake hands and I’m not going to snub anybody.

“I don’t want to make a mountain out of a mole hill. It will be strange but I’ve got to try and get my team three points.

“I want to win this match more than anybody. I wish Liam Smith and Dixon Lambert all the best in their adventure at Padiham Football Club.

“There’s certainly no animosity between us. They’ve done a very good job. They’ve won games and brought a lot of new players to the club and I’ve done the same at Northwich.

“I’ll be grown up about the whole situation. It’s just another game of football and I won’t let my emotions take over.”