Eastbourne took their chances although i thought we had our share of the play without looking particularly dangerous from our own set-plays. I thought they looked a pretty organised team.
They’ve peaked at the right time. They’ve also had a settled team which helps, we’ve suffered on that front in the last couple of months or so, Eastbourne would find it hard to operate without the likes of Odubade or Ramsey in their team, for example. I don’t think anyone could have coped with the injuries we’ve had, and even going into Saturday’s game we had to change the shape due to the lack of personnel available. Some of the players coming back into the side like Josh and Robbie Simpson, were not quite ready. We knew from the start of the season that our squad wasn’t big enough and we’ve probably punched above our weight to be perfectly honest. That core of players can take a tremendous amount of credit for what they have achieved. If we want to maintain the momentum next year, we have got to keep the nucleus together and add to it.
The early stages were comfortable, we were doing what we wanted to do in terms of keeping the ball and being sharp on the counter. Then we gave away a silly free-kick and didn’t clear our lines from the second ball in and the goal really knocked the stuffing out of the players. We needed to change the shape, and we didn’t really have the personnel available to operate the 4-4-2 properly. We came out firing in the second half, I asked for a big effort at the start and we began at a good tempo, we looked the sharper team, and for the first 10 minutes we looked like we were going to get back in it.
Their second goal was the result of another poor free-kick on our part, a silly push, and we didn’t mark up at all, we went to sleep. I’m not going to point fingers at individuals, but their player was allowed to run and Duncan was left totally exposed. The third goal came after we’d made the changes to give the younger lads some experience. Robbie Simpson wasn’t really ready to return, it was good to get him on for his own confidence. For Michael Gash, it was important to show him the level that is required. The atmoshere in the ground was good, I would have liked a few more, but that’s not going to change the result. The noise and cameradery between the rival supporters was good, and that was great to see.
Regarding next season, re-engagement terms have been offered to Matt Langston, Craig Pope, Dale Binns, and Alan Calton. They have four weeks in which to reply. I’ve been really impressed with both Craig and Matt this year, they’ve done very well. Craig isn’t a “Bosman” player, if he were to move then we would expect a fee for him and I don’t envisage many clubs being willing to pay money for a right back. It doesn’t happen very often. A player who is under 24 years of age cannot just move. At the end of the year, if that player is offered re-engagement terms, being under-24, the club is entitled to compensation if he moves. We had to pay a fee for Dale Binns for the same reason. Should Craig sign for another club, and they want to play him before agreeing a fee with us, then it would go to a tribunial and be decided there.
Players that have signed definitely for City next season, include Glen Fuff, Lee Chaffey, Josh Simpson, Robbie Simpson, Brady Stone, Carl Williams and Richard Scott. I’m going to be speaking to Dave Sadler this week. There are three or four other players I will be speaking to this week also, with a view to bringing them in. I want to keep the nucleus together, but I won’t be offering a deal to Jon Stevenson.
Dale hasn’t indicated whether he will stay or go yet, but he is not a “Bosman”, so should he leave, as with Craig, we’d get a fee. I’ve offered Rob Miller a deal too and he’s considering it. I also want to keep Lee Summerscales and will be speaking to him in the next couple of weeks, along with Matt Robinson and Duncan Roberts.
Lewis Baillie is still in Australia at the moment, but I would certainly be interested if he were to come back to the UK. I’m looking at several midfielders at the moment, who I think would greatly improve our team.
Personally, I haven’t had a contract all year, I’m happy at Cambridge City. I’ve told Arthur that I’m not interested in going anywhere else. I’m here to do my best for the football club in the time that they require me. I think everyone will agree, this has been our best season at Cambridge City for many years, with the league success together with the progress made in the FA Cup and FA Trophy, the players achievements will rightly go down in the club’s history. One or two of them shouldn’t lose sight of what they have achieved, and what more they can achieve with this club in the future. I don’t think they should be regarding us as a stepping stone to bigger clubs, because we can certainly push ourselves on next year given their committment, along with the new players that I hope to bring in. We have to push ourselves forward on and off the field.
A word with... Chelsea's favourite full-back, Lee Summerscales
Up until they scored, it was a pretty even game. Both sides had good chances to take the lead, I thought we had the better ones. After the goal, we never really got back in it from that point.
It’s a bitter pill to swallow, losing 3-0 at home and going out of the play-offs to Eastbourne. We’ve taken four points off them in the league, and we all knew this was a big game with the winners going to Stoke, so its disappointing. The players worked hard, tried hard, but we didn’t have any luck. Their second goal came off Duncan and went in, had we had that little bit of luck maybe things would have changed.
The result was fair, they played well, had a game plan which they stuck to and I personally wish them all the best, and I’m sure all the other Cambridge lads say the same as well. It would be great to see two teams promoted from the Conference South to the National next year.
The fans were superb today, they deserved more than we put out for them. The City “Shed Choir” have been top drawer. On the day we feel we let them down, and it’s such a shame to end on such a low note after the high we’ve been on all season to reach the play-offs. People didn’t expect us to get there, but we did, and next season we’ve got to get there again to maintain the standard. Hopefully, the fans will be here too as they are first class.
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