Sheehan: Gutted But Not Surprised
Thursday, 26th Mar 2020 17:05
ITFC Women’s boss Joe Sheehan says he’s gutted but not surprised at the FA’s decision to declare the Women’s National League season null and void due to the coronavirus crisis.
The Tractor Girls are top of FAWNL Division One South East and were looking on course for promotion to the third tier of women’s football.
“We're gutted but not surprised to be honest,” Sheehan told the club site. “We had eight or nine games remaining this season, and other clubs around us had even more than that so the chances of finishing the season were unlikely. It's disappointing but it's out of our control.
“I can see why they've made the decision they have. For us it's tough because we were on track to achieve what we wanted to do this season and that was to get promoted.
“But no matter the decision they had made I'm sure certain teams would have been unhappy about it.
“We've beaten teams in the league above this season so we know we're capable of playing at that level, and that does make the outcome disappointing because that's where we feel we should be.
“Like I say whatever decision they had made some people would have complained so they just had to make a call.”
He says the situation means some uncertainty going into next season with promotion not having been achieved: “Some of our younger players have decisions to make about their education in terms of going to university and things like that.
“We want to keep those players and we were confident of doing so if we achieved promotion. Now we have to play another year at this level so it is something we'll have to discuss with them.
“We'll also look at who we can bring in and who will strengthen the squad and of course we will reflect on the season and analyse what went well and where we need to improve.
“This season has certainly been valuable experience for us and we know what to expect from teams higher up the ladder as we'll hopefully be going up against some of them next season in cup competitions.”
Sheehan says he’s yet to speak to the squad about the news: “I haven't spoken to them yet as we've only just been informed of the situation.
“One thing I will be saying is to not get down about the situation because we have still had a really good season and the experience has been vital. It will be a test for us to roll our sleeves up and go again but we will be up for it.”
He added: “The support we've received this season has been brilliant and we've managed to get a good core fanbase on board. If we can build on that momentum and excitement next season then that's great.”
Reflecting on the season overall, he continued: “We had a brilliant cup run, a solid home record and we've scored a lot of goals. We've set records and made history for the club so that is something we will want to take forward and I'm confident we can do so.”
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