It’s fair to say that the 2019-20 season didn’t go to plan, in a number of ways. Before the curtailment of the season with ten league games still to play, we suffered with inconsistency throughout, however, we did start to see signs of improvement just before football was brought to an end in Wales, back in March.
With the JD Cymru North league standings being decided using average points per game, some would say that our final league position of 10th, in what is an unforgiving league, is a respectable finish. I personally feel a sense of disappointment and ‘what could have been’ if we were to have completed our remaining league games.
That sense of disappointment, which I know is shared by the players and staff, stems from both the number of points delivered in the 20 league games we played and also through reflecting on some of the performances we delivered between August and January. We looked unrecognisable at times in comparison to the standards we’d delivered in previous seasons.
The first half of this season was, without doubt, the toughest period we’ve faced over the past three years, we had some desperately tough moments, and with these tough times certainly came a test of attitude and character, not only of myself but of the players as well. I think it’s a pretty well-used reference in football and sport, that you learn more when you’re losing, and the experience gained this season has certainly confirmed that for me.
The quality of our group of players and the ability to compete at this level has never been in question in my opinion, and through some honest conversations and meetings at the turn of the year, we did see a marked improvement throughout the first three months of 2020. We started to compete, be harder to play against, and of course this gave us the platform to win some games of football.
Having said all this, I do feel like we’re now in a better place than we were a year ago, we have a number of key players returning and recovering from injuries, and the players have another year of experience and will be better as a result of enduring some tough times together. As a group we will use what we have learned to improve like we always have done.
Preparations are underway for our return to football, whenever that may be. As it stands we have no timeline in place which would even facilitate a return to team training, not to mention friendly and competitive fixtures. The players are working hard in their own time and we are determined to use the time available to return as a better group than we ever have been.
I’d like to thank the players. This period of ‘no football’ has given me time to reflect on a lot of things, but one thing that has become clear over the past two-three months is just how committed they are. Their work is often carried out behind closed doors, that’s the way it should be, they are a proud group who have illustrated a hunger to improve and deserve credit for helping to stabilise the Club further this season.
I’d like to thank all of the committee and volunteers at the Club for their ongoing support, as well as our supporters and sponsors, old and new. We hope to repay you with our performances on the pitch when we can!