The Bulls first season in the Vanarama National League North comes to a conclusion on Saturday when Hereford take on Boston United at Edgar Street.
For many fans it’ll be a time of reflection, and an assessment of the season as a whole. Jamie Howard looks back at what turned into a roller-coaster.
Obviously as the season ends there will be many reviews and autopsies of this campaign. I thought I would pop mine in early(ish), mainly because I’m awake and have nothing else to do.
Well it was a train wreck if truth be told, Beadle under resourced and suffering two late blows (Jimmy Oates to Exeter and Mike Symons injury). Releasing John Mills was the least popular decision since David Keyte sold HUFC to Tommy Agombar…. and the debate will always rage as to if he had stayed would we of scored more, hard to tell, but he didn’t set the world alight in ‘The South’ so make your own minds up.
It was evident that we were missing older calmer heads in the middle of the park and try as they might and with all due respect for the previous seasons endeavours the midfield and defence was not up to the task, one step beyond as the song famously declared.
Beadle went …. it’s a fact, it happened, we all have to just move on as that ship has now sailed and no amount of whinging will alter the past.
Tim Harris and Marc Richards came in, and so did a million names and faces I will never remember, trying to change an ingrained style of play that we were all used to seeing … and it still didn’t work – youthful exuberance is great but with nothing to balance it, it’s just wasted energy. Ryan Greens’ semi retirement was a big loss to compound the problems but injuries are what they are and no one can ever say he coasted. Always 100% while wearing the shirt. Legend!
Then it all started to change, slowly but surely, Symmo returned and despite looking like the School Teacher playing with a student team we had a bit of direction, a hold up player of experience. The second big change was Josh Gowling arriving. We now had an experienced CB to marshal the young troops. I genuinely believe these were too big moments for the team.
Tom Owen-Evans started delivering goals and Eliott Richards started making the centre mid berth his own. Things were changing and safety was earnt with a string of 45 minute displays. (Next year please aim for 90 minutes).
Happy? No, not really – relieved would be the word I would use.
It has been a bitterly disappointing season and a huge reality check.
Next year a comfortable mid table spot would be good for the nerves and perhaps start to build a squad for the long term. It’s been a revolving door at Edgar Street for players and it needs to stop. Build a first eleven – expand to squad players worthy of a berth, and then start playing as a unit for 90 minutes, and lets enjoy the game again….. oooh, and strikers please!
Well that’s my thoughts, agree or disagree I won’t argue (but I reserve the right to discuss it vigorously).
Images courtesy of Steve Niblett.