As he prepares for a tough test this weekend when his team travels to Chippenham Town in the Vanarama National League South, Wilkinson spoke to Hillingdon is Here.
Asked if he senses that the club is firmly established in Ruislip now after moving to the area in 2008, he said: “Totally. It’s a brilliant club for everyone. Ruislip is a great place for the club and I think everyone is happy. Hopefully, we can be there for many more years.”
Ruislip Manor FC folded as a football club in 2008 due to financial difficulties, leaving the stadium empty. With Wealdstone’s ground share agreement at Northwood coming to a close and no finish date in site for the club’s long term Prince Edward Playing Field development it was decided that Wealdstone FC should move into the vacant stadium at Grosvenor Vale.
Wilkinson says as well as the club feeling settled, he is too, having only recently taken the helm as manager.
He said: “The local area is brilliant and I’m really enjoying it. I still live in Reading, so it’s only an hour’s journey. I love the area, the club and all the people and it’s been pleasure working at Wealdstone during the last few weeks.”
The Stones have been in excellent form since Wilkinson took over from Gordon Bartlett in late August, losing just two of their ten matches under the former Hungerford Town manager’s stewardship.
That form has seen the Ruislip based club rise to twelfth place in the table and they face one of the division’s new boys this weekend in Chippenham Town, who won the Southern League Premier Division last season.
Speaking ahead of the game, Wilkinson said: “Their home form says it all. I don’t even think they lost at home last year and they’ve got another great home record this year. They’re not brilliant on the road this year, but we are in for a real tough game. But we’re looking forward to the challenge. We are going there to win and we’ll see how we get on.”
The Stones head into this weekend’s game off the back of a 2-1 victory over Whitehawk, thanks to goals from Danny Green and Abobaker Eisa, a game which saw two new faces feature in the match-day squad.
Wilkinson brought in Glenn Wilson and Harry Goodger recently, two players who he believes will add some much-needed experience to his squad.
He said: ‘Well as you know, I brought in my old captain from my old club Matt Day and Luke Williams and last week we brought in Glenn Wilson and Harry Goodger. They are winners. Three of the boys have played under me before and also won a couple of promotions under me. So, I wanted that experience and those winners around me, because I want to win games of football for this football club.”
With four wins and four draws from Wilkinson’s first 10 games, Wealdstone are one of the form teams in the National League South and they currently sit just seven points off the play-off places.
As a result, talk has now turned to where the Stones could finish this season, after their promising start to life under Wilkinson, who admits that he is ‘loving life’ at Grosvenor Vale.
However, Wilkinson refused to be drawn on talk about a play-off push, insisting that he is taking it game-by-game at the present moment.
He said: “I’ve been around the game too long now to start predicting where we are going to finish. What I would say though is that I’m going to take it game-by-game.
“I want to win football games for this club, the supporters, the board of directors and especially my chairman and vice chairman. It’s just important to win games and where you will be, you will be. It’s going to be hard work and I know that.
“I’m quite pleased with the progress we’ve made as when I took over, we were fourth from bottom and now we are twelfth. That proves that there has been a good improvement. I’m really pleased for the football club in that department. But, I’m never going to say where we are going to end up, because when you say that you could be shot down.”