Barlow stepping aside at Swifts
Matamata Swifts AFC president Dwayne Barlow has called time on his involvement with the club, ending a near lifetime of involvement with the Swifts.
Barlow has been president of the club since November 2009 and has also held other management committee roles, along with playing well over 100 1st team games.
He has performed a volunteer general manager’s role for the club for the best part of the last decade and has cited work and family as the main reasons for stepping down.
‘‘The club has a very good management committee now, is financially stable with a great sponsor base and, with Ted Ansell coming on board as the director of coaching, we have the capacity to realise our vision of being the beating heart of our community,’’ said Barlow.
‘‘ So I feel comfortable in stepping aside to let a new group of leaders carry this club forward. It’ll be tough to let go, as I’ve been so closely involved with this club for so long but other challenges and opportunities mean it’s something I have to do.’’
The time commitment has finally caught up with Barlow and, he said, he must now move his focus to different areas.
‘‘I’ve devoted nearly 1000 hours a year to the club for the past few years and I can’t carry on like that,’’ explained Barlow.
‘‘I need that time so I can explore other challenges, including developing my media and marketing business, as well as to spend with my young family.’’
Barlow expects he won’t be lost to football.
‘‘This sport is still in my blood and is something I care deeply about. After taking a break from football I’ll be on the lookout for a new challenge in the game. I don’t really know what it will be, or when, so we’ll just have to see what comes up.’’
Swifts spokesperson, Julie Clothier, was initially surprised to hear of Barlow’s decision, but is fully supportive.
‘‘I can understand it. This club owes Dwayne so much for the vision he’s displayed and the contribution he’s made over such a long period of time,’’ she said. ‘‘ He’ll be missed.’’
The Swifts have some big decisions to make in the immediate future and that is one of the reasons Barlow feels the time is right to leave.
‘‘The club is at a real crossroads, so it’s only right that the people who will carry it forward get to make some tough decisions. Matamata Swifts will always be my club and I wish everyone there all the best. I’ll be involved for a bit longer as the handover process will take a little while but when I’m completely out of the picture I will still follow the club’s results and will certainly keep in touch with everything that’s going on.’’