A Samba night out for bosses!

Lancaster City managers Neil Wainwright (left) and Michael Stringfellow.
Lancaster City managers Neil Wainwright (left) and Michael Stringfellow.
Share this article
Have your say

They may be more used to watching a game of football from the nitty gritty vantage point of a non-league dug-out.

But, for one night only, the management teams of Lancaster City and AFC Fylde will be treated like royalty.

Dolly Blues’ joint managers Neil Wainwright and Michael Stringfellow will have the best seats in the house on Wednesday for England’s greatly-anticipated clash against Brazil at Wembley.

And they will be joined at the home of football by Coasters boss Dave Challinor and his assistant Colin Woodthorpe.

The quartet will attend the prestigious friendly as guests of the Football Association, who are celebrating their 150th anniversary.

The invitation is a reward for their respectful behaviour towards officials – and the opposition – on the touchline during their respective clubs’ games.

After every match in the Northern Premier League, the referee is asked to mark the respective managers, and their backroom team, for their behaviour in the technical area.

In the Premier Division, Fylde came out on top, ahead of Nantwich Town , FC United of Manchester and Marine.

Lancaster were the First Division North winners – finishing narrowly ahead of Wakefield and Harrogate Railway Athletic.

It is not the first time both clubs have won fair play awards.

In 2011, under the stewardship of manager Tony Hesketh, Lancaster won the FA’s National Award for Fair Play and Respect, and Fylde were the winners of the same award a year later.

City boss Wainwright, a former winger for Sunderland, Darlington and Morecambe, said: “It’s very nice for me and Michael. We get to go down to Wembley.

“The award is for our behaviour in the technical area.

“It’s something I’ve tried to do all through my career – be respectful towards referees.

“I might shout at the ref during the game over an incident, but I always speak to them in the right manner at half-time or after the game.

“It’s nice for Lancaster City to win and it adds to the respect awards the club has won in the past.”

NPL respect manager Phil Bradley revealed most management teams have improved their technical area behaviour, with “excellent” marks awarded by match referees up by more than 25% since the league began the initiative in 2010.

Dismissals from the technical area have also reduced significantly over the past few years, along with dissent from players.

Bradley said: “It is worth noticing that Lancaster City and AFC Fylde have won the FA’s National Award for Fair Play and Respect in 2011 and 2012 respectively.

“It is very satisfying that having pocketed £4,000 in prize money from the FA for those successes, they have not rested on their laurels and let things slide but taken the responsibility of being national winners very seriously indeed.

“I am certain that it isn’t a coincidence that these two clubs are among the winners again, even though there have been changes of managers at both clubs over the past couple of years.

“Obviously, it is an ethos that comes down from the top.”