After going down to the Sadiku Stadium and meeting both chairman, Jeremy Wilkins and director, Darren Elliot, it’s clear to see the direction Kings Langley Football Club is going in.
A season which was described by both as “A rollercoaster of emotions” as they find themselves fighting for the playoffs, which has shocked a lot of fans and teams in the league as they were tipped to be fighting relegation at the start of the campaign.
When asked about why the club is doing so well this season, they both agreed that a lot of the success is down to the manager, Steve Conroy.
Darren explained: “The club is a different place now, we have a different culture which everyone has conformed to. A lot of that is down to Steve. It’s the first year where he has been the manager for pre-season which has allowed him to get the players in that he’s wanted and also allowed him to imprint his philosophy into the team.”
Jeremy revealed he was thrilled with the type of football that Steve has brought to the club.
He said: “He has introduced a great style of football which the players have bought into, we play on the front foot, moving the ball forward and we now have a great bunch of lads who are technically good, but are more importantly, coachable.”
A big part of the club’s run of form this season has been down to bringing in players of high quality which has helped the club reach a new level of success.
One of those who has been instrumental for KLFC this season is forward, Rene Howe, who highly regarded by the pair.
They said: “Since Rene has been at the club, we have had a better mentality which I think he has rubbed off on a lot of players. Maybe without him we would be okay, like a mid-table club, but he’s got that fight and winning attitude and there’s no doubt in my mind he, along with other players, has pushed us to the next level. He has bundles of talent and does so much for the team.”
Being described as nothing other than a “family”, both Jeremy and Darren who work voluntarily for the club, are excited to see what they can achieve.
With the playoffs in their sights, it’s clear the squad don’t want to let this chance slip.
Darren added: “We are a close knit family, the last two years we have brought a player, sold a player and these are the things that go on in the national league, so we are preparing for the future because this, two years ago at the club, was unheard of. Everyone at the club is excited to see where we can go.”
“We have learnt fast, both of us being businessmen has helped us a lot because we are always planning and thinking two or three steps ahead,” said the chairman.
He continued: “Obviously, where we are currently could bring that pot of gold of promotion. But if it doesn’t, our ambition is to be a consistently good team in this league.
“There is nothing wrong with having the ambition to be a great top of the table club that is never in danger of going down. We have to be true to our values – you can’t forget that we have been in this league for three seasons and the past two seasons we were nailed on to go down.”
When asked about supporters and the countless volunteers who help out them, it was clear to see they are a massive part of the set up here after the pair described them as “The soul of the club” and “The unsung heroes.”
Darren highlighted how the club goes the extra mile to welcome visitors: “At our club, it is the little things which go a long way because we can’t provide what other clubs can. For example, I welcome the team when they arrive, the DJ contacts the away club to see what music they like and the owner of the bar finds out what drink is popular from where they are from and sources it in.”
With the unfortunate tragedy of number one fan, Matt Allcock, suddenly passing away in January, the pair made it clear that both Matt and his family will forever be a big part of KLFC.
They said: “We as a group are very tight and Matt was a massive part of that. When I (Jeremy) got told the news, I came down to the stadium just to mourn, which a lot of others did too. The tribute we had for him at the club is hard to sum up, it epitomised what the community and this club is. It was an amazing day for everyone but especially for the family. We will never forget for as long as we live.”