Firstly, I hope all our players, managers and family associated with the club are keeping healthy as we all get used to football taking a back seat. From a 1st team perspective, clearly we’re all operating in unprecedented circumstances. The league has been “null & voided” with us in 2nd place. Whilst officially the results won’t stand, we’ll keep records our end so months of hard work isn’t undone.
The season was mixed from my perspective. We started with a huge amount of change from the season before, which we hadn’t planned on. We lost several key players and it’s not easy replacing them with no budget. The NSL is a strong Step-7 league and in my opinion 5/6 teams would cope fine operating in a league above. By the end, performances had started to dip and we dropped points unnecessarily against teams we should be comfortably beating. Despite us being 2nd, we would’ve been a long-shot to win the league so we have to improve next season (whenever that is).
However I also have to remember where we are and how far we’ve progressed. We’ve kept the core of the team from Southwell with most of which have come through our youth teams. We’ve played some great football at times and feel the connection between the lads and the community is at its best level in years. In the 83 games since I took the job on, we’ve only lost 15 times – & 2 of those were in the cup against Step 6 teams. Thank you for all the support this season, from the chairman and committee to the support we’ve had home and away, it’s hugely appreciated and I hope you can see the progression too!
With next season still up in the air in regards to a start date, it’s difficult to plan & prepare. We know Brinkley is around the corner but we’ll have another season at the Memorial Ground – and we have to do our best to make it a memorable one. The majority of the squad should remain the same, but I know we need a few more bodies to make us more competitive.
Finally, I want to congratulate George Caudwell on his move to America. He’s wanted this for a while and worked his socks off to get there. It’s fully deserved, he’s a great player but also a great lad – I’m sure he’ll smash it over there and look forward to seeing his progression.