Wednesday, 23 May 2018
End of term report. The student has excelled in all areas.
I sat at the shareholders meeting the time before last, my first and the air was full of jollity. After years of struggle and underachievement Danny and Nicky Cowley had been appointed and it was apparent then that the bad times were over. The team were doing well in the National League and the FA Cup, gates were well up, there was a general feeling of optimism.
Danny Cowley said something that has stayed with me: Getting promoted from League Two would be easier than from the National League. In my naiveté I took that as a statement of intent. It was probably intended to underline the enormous task that getting promoted back to the Football League was.
At the beginning of last season the word easy did not spring to mind as the team sought to adapt to life as a league club. It was anything but. Nevertheless the team did adapt and, whilst never truly looking like a tilt at the top three places could be anticipated the playoffs were seen as an achievable aim. Only later (correct me if I’m wrong) did Danny Cowley state that the play offs were the aim. I bet they weren’t, both from the manager’s point of view and the players. I believe they all wanted to continue the momentum and achieve a second promotion.
That the club didn’t, ought not to suggest that last season was in any way shape or form a disappointment. How could it be when the club did eventually finish in the top seven and not only enjoy a trip to Wembley but carried off the Checktrade Trophy?
There were two stand out players and you don’t need me to tell you this, Michael Bostwick and former crock Neal Eardley. Of the latter I wonder how many former managers are muttering over their cornflakes, how did I let him go, why couldn’t I do that with him?
As for Bozzie after, for me an uncertain start he has emerged as a signing of genius. Probably the only time our geographical position has enabled us to sign a player of this quality. League Two supporters should be grateful that two players of such standing will be around next season. They’re far too good for this level and yet they’ve both signed contract extensions. These are great times indeed and, if only because of the fact that these two players are with us and are content to remain with us indicates to me that the good times are unlikely to slip from our grasp anytime soon.
My son won’t agree with me but I really like Matt Green and in Ollie Palmer we have the sort of enigma that every fan loves. As has been stated elsewhere if he doesn’t know what he’s going to do next how can the opposition? Alex Woodyard perhaps hasn’t had as much of the limelight as previously but for me he’s carried on where he left off. I look forward to Harry Anderson fulfilling his potential with us and I watch the goal keeper situation with interest. I thank each and every one of the players for their contribution, Elliott Whitehouse will forever be remembered for his goal at Wembley and I simply purr with pleasure at the thought of having Lee Frecklington back with us again but you’ve all been great.
As we settle in to summer we await the retained list and new recruits. If it rains till September it’ll still be a great summer in Impdom.