The Unsung Heroes

in Sport Insight

All football fans can instantly name their favourite players, many wearing the names of them on the back of their shirts. The manager is also instantly recognisable; the man who gets much of the blame when it all goes wrong or the glory when things go well. But the Club Secretary? Few fans would even know who they are. Yet the secretary is one of the most important figures behind the scenes, a vital cog in the well-oiled machinery that makes a club tick over daily. Faceless, perhaps, but always there to check and double-check the fine details so that the players, manager and the committee members can smoothly get on with their jobs. They are the principal administrator for the club and undertake all administrative duties that enable the club and its members to function effectively.

Jimmy Cavilla became the first Club Secretary of Lynx FC in 2014. The responsibilities had previously been shared between the President and the owner of the club Mr Albert Parody. Supporting the club as a vital member of the Committee and was critical to the successful management of Lynx Football Club during the early stages of Gibraltar becoming the 54th Member of UEFA in 2013.

Becoming a secretary is not only a great way to meet everybody in the club, but also a great way to expand experience in their planning, communication and even financial management skills. These are voluntary roles, but they command a lot of vital workplace experience, and we are so grateful for the professionalism the secretaries have brought to Lynx FC.

Jimmy once said: “As Club Secretary, you have to have particular attention to detail. The better you put in the paperwork, the more chance you’ve have of getting it back quickly. Transfer deadline day was pretty mental. I didn’t get home until 11.45 pm. We put through three registrations in the last hour, the last one going through two minutes before the deadline. However there was a great satisfaction of accomplishment when you achieved your goal.”

In 2017, Jimmy had stepped down as Club Secretary and became the Treasurer. It was not easy finding a person to fill in his shoes. The Committee had agreed to temporarily appoint Deirdre Copello as the Club Secretary under the support of Jonathan Costa, CEO of Lynx Football Club. Deirdre’s commitment became an essential factor in 2019 as we entered the UEFA Futsal Champions League in Holland.  Communication was vital when travelling abroad, and we were lucky to have her on board. Often not seen as high profile, in actual fact a secretary is a crucial pivot point for all of the club’s activities. A key aspect of the role is to hold the player’s registration forms. The secretary keeps an accurate record of the players, including a copy of each player’s birth certificate, should any query arise regarding eligibility.

To do a good job, you need to understand your motivations and balance these off against the needs of the club. As a consequence, we felt it was time to bring in a permanent candidate for the role, as Deirdre also managed the Futsal administration.

When Jonathan approached Elaine Rodriguez in January 2020, he reassured her that she did not have to worry about knowing everything in a short period. We had a great team supporting Elaine during the early days of her appointment and knew she was not alone. 

Having assistants from the Committee helped spread her workload by working together, bouncing ideas off each other and generally enjoying the experience. Elaine soon became an asset to the club, saying that ”the role of the Secretary is gratifying and creates a lifetime experience that can’t be replicated anywhere else.”

Jonathan Costa, CEO of Lynx Football Club later added, “becoming a Club Secretary, your fellow committee members, your players, members, supporters and the community will be looking to you as one of the leaders of the club; the unsung heroes. We might be near the end of the season, but as soon as it finishes, it all kicks off preparing for next season.”

For further information, please contact the club on lynxfc@mail.com or 200 69695.

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