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Kettering boss proud after ‘very serious incident’ during friendly

Kettering Town boss Paul Cox says he was left proud after an ‘very serious incident’ with his keeper during Tuesday’s inter-club friendly.

The manager’s spirits were raised by the way players, staff and physio Rachel Birks managed to cope with a worrying injury during the National League North club’s pre-season workout at Latimer Park.

The Poppies had initially been set to play Brackley Town in friendly fixture, however it was called off due to a Covid case in the opposition’s camp.

As stated by Jon Dunham, Kettering welcomed fans into the ground free of charge as they played out the session, but spectators was left watching on with concern as Jacob Wood suffered a serious head injury.

The match had to be halted, before the session was ended early with players going back down the tunnel and wishing their shot-stopper all the best.

He was treated by Birks and other staff members on the pitch before then later being taken to hospital for tests with Cox on Wednesday morning, reporting that he thankfully seems to be recovering.

Nonetheless, the Poppies boss admitted it was “a worrying time” but he was highly impressed with the way the club dealt with the matter.

“It was surreal, I certainly don’t want to experience many more evenings like that because it was really worrying,” Cox said as quoted in the Northants Telegraph.

“Initially and certainly up until this morning (Wednesday), it was a very serious incident and there were young people in the ground who were quite close by who we needed to protect.

“I am just really proud of the club. From my staff, especially my medical staff, to the supporters who understood the situation and vacated the area, I thought the whole club showed itself in a good light.

“For me, it felt like there was a growth in our club because of the way we dealt with what I believe was a very serious incident. The way the staff, the players and the supporters came together bodes well for the future.

“Woody was in a bad way. The emergency services were called but his dad has text me this morning and it looks as though he is okay and back on his feet.

“But it was a very worrying time at one point as people around us would testify.

“Society in general doesn’t seem to take health or mental health as seriously as it should and people like Rachel and others like her don’t go into this job just to get paid, they go into it because they care.

“All I can say about Rachel is that she is a young woman, quite new to the job and I thought the way she handled herself, in a cool, calm and professional manner, assured everybody in the ground and Woody that everything was going to be okay.

“I can’t speak highly enough about how well she did her job. In my opinion, as she progresses, she is going to go on and have an excellent career in this line of work.

“Sometimes, these things can be a learning curve and we have had a major incident but we have dealt with it very well.

“It was a shame we had to cut things short but I made that decision. Health is more important than a football match and that was my call.

“The most important thing is that Woody recovers.”

The club have confirmed that they will head to Stamford for a pre-season friendly on Thursday evening (7.30pm) before they head to Corby Town for a Newlands Shield encounter on Saturday (kick off 3pm).

SEE MORE: Ex-Hearts and Hamilton player suffers horrifying leg injury during pre-season friendly

As mentioned, the Kettering boss said he was proud after witnessing a ‘very serious incident’ with their keeper during the inter-club friendly on Tuesday, fans gave their reaction on it all…

@marcwebber: Not all heroines wear capes. Some carry magic sponges. Well done, Rachel.

@BenFreeman_14: Goal scored, player accidentally followed through and kicked the keeper in the head apparently, didn’t look good at first but he’s up now and walking, thank god

@harboroughfox19: Christ never a dull moment at Kettering

@nonleaguevol: Not all heroes wear capes!

@lee_saint: Speedy recovery to him best be safe

@GilesMillington: I really hope that Jacob recovers really soon and comes back stronger than ever and up the Kettering town FC and up the poppies

@horace51: Well done Rachel, I hope you don’t have to deal with too many incidents like this. If the club did, they couldn’t have a better person dealing with it.

@DazzallDarren: Always hope you aren’t needed, but so grateful when you are.

@lukegraham1986: Great person as well as physio!

@PhilWade9: Well done Rachel, top work 👏

@tomck_: Well done Rachel 👏🙏🏼

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