Promoted Felixstowe & Walton not there to ‘make up the numbers’, says Watson

Felixstowe & Walton joint bosses Kevin O'Donnell, left, and Ian Watson Picture: STAN BASTON

Felixstowe & Walton joint bosses Kevin O'Donnell, left, and Ian Watson Picture: STAN BASTON - Credit: Photo:Stan Baston

Felixstowe & Walton boss Ian Watson says his team won’t be heading into Step 4 next season to ‘make the numbers up’.

Watson, who is joint first-team manager at the Goldstar Ground with Kevin O’Donnell, knows it won’t be easy for the Seasiders as they make their way up into Bostik North next season, after promotion from Step 5 (Thurlow Premier) last campaign.

But along with everyone else at the east Suffolk club, he’s looking forward to the challenge.

“I think if we can get a top 10 finish next season that will be good for us,” Watson said.

“Ideally we would like to get in or near the play-offs, that would be the golden chalice.

“We certainly aren’t in it to make the numbers up. We have our targets and our players know that too.

“Mildenhall had an up and down season last year after they got promoted. It’s a learning curve.

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“But we have players who have played at this level and we have lots of good youngsters coming through as well.”

Felixstowe & Walton have made rapid strides in the last few seasons, with a new clubhouse, as well as their promotion last term.

Crowds are up but Watson admits the hard work continues.

“It’s only really just died down from last season,” Watson said.

“But me and Kevin (O’Donnell) have been on it ever since, talking to players. We have signed the majority of players we wanted from last season’s squad and we have a few irons in the fire.

“We don’t have a bottomless pit of money at Felixstowe. I think players think because of the crowds we get, we must have. But there is plenty to do around the ground as well as players spend.

“I’m just so pleased for so many folk at Felixstowe who have done so much for this club over the last 30 years. That was a big theme at our end-of-season night, thanking those who have done so much to get Felixstowe to this point.

“I think some fans simply don’t want us to get relegated, so than can enjoy their time at this level. We know it won’t be easy and I can understand that but we have confidence in the squad.”

Felixstowe & Walton Reserves will move to Thurlow One next season as the first-team move up the pyramid. “That will be great for our young players,” Watson added.

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