To continue our season review from the 2018/19 campaign we caught up with the players and coaching staff to hear their thoughts from this season.
Overall thoughts on the season…
Paul Grimes: I have positive feelings overall about how it’s gone since I’ve been back involved. The final league position is the highest it has been for a number of seasons and in other years we would be preparing for the play offs on the back of a 4th place finish. There is obviously an element of frustration that we couldn’t quite push the overall winners a bit further but I think there will be a handful of teams who feel the same.
Jon Taylor: After a mixed pre-season this year in terms of losing a number players from the previous campaign we performed well against a very strong Scunthorpe United team, Clee Town and Lincoln United. We then beat App Frod convincingly in the Gerry Spencer memorial game. After the pre-season games where we were looking a little light in numbers we were lucky in regaining the services of Kez from Clee Town and also managed to sign Nelly and Wheelo just before the season started. We off the season well winning the first 6 games and topping the league. We had a good run in the FA Vase and beat some quality teams along the way with the highlight of beating one of the favourites for the competition in the last minute. We had a managerial change along the way and welcomed back Grimesy to work alongside Scott as Manager and myself. We put up a great fight and were challenging for promotion right until the end but we unfortunately just fell short this time.
Kieran Wressell: Overall I think there is a lot of positives to take from the season. I’m actually gutted that it’s over with. I know the last game of the season result doesn’t reflect on the season what so ever because we was poor and we know we was but the lads were gutted after the game as we didn’t want to go out on a loss and could’ve finished 3rd. Also a little disappointed after the start we had to the season with winning 10 out of 10 but I think near Christmas when we struggled to pick up any points from like 7 or 8 games cost us with injuries and suspensions. On a self point of view for the thoughts of this season I’m pleased I’ve managed back to back seasons of being injury free because it’s always nice to complete a season without getting injured as in previous years I’ve been out for parts of season with injuries and niggles, so yes it’s been nice for me.
Chaz Fisher: Overall it’s had a few ups and downs. Looking back at the season it was always going to be tough to gain promotion with the standard of the top 6 although the main aim was promotion it’s been a success and a step in the right direction, FA Cup qualification was a must. With a few decisions going against us with sending offs etc. it could have been a lot different if we had 11 men against teams.
Liam Nelthorpe: Overall I have really enjoyed my football this season. It was a gamble to drop leagues however it was a gamble well paid off as this season has had a little bit of everything. The club since my first stint here has more vision and a lot more going off behind the scenes which is refreshing to see and exactly why I joined the club.
Best and worst moments…
Paul Grimes: The 0-1 home defeat by Armthorpe was a real low point for us. We were miles off that day in every sense but our mentality was all wrong. We had been well beaten the week before by Dronfield and we were still sulking and feeling sorry for ourselves. We then had a break in the fixture list and addressed some of the issues we felt were holding us back. We were brilliant in the following game away at Worsborough. That 6-0 win was our most ‘complete’ performance and summarised the levels we want to be at on a regular basis.
Jon Taylor: The best moment of the season for me was being in contention for winning the league right up until we lost at Hallam and the spirited performances in the FA Vase. The worst moment of the season for me was when having put ourselves in a strong league position we had to scramble a team together for an away fixture at Swallownest and we lost. It was also really disappointing when it was mathematically impossible to win the league, in the end we missed out by 9 points but when you think about some of the points we lost it is disappointing.
Kieran Wressell: For me the best moment from this season has got to be beating Dunston in the FA Vase, not just because they were 2nd favourites to win the tournament but also their fans were giving me a lot of stick behind the goal second half that’s why I gave them the shhhh when we scored last minute to win, it made it sweeter as well. Losing games over the Christmas period was the worst part of the season, we just couldn’t find our form for a while. Had a few suspensions and few lads leaving made it difficult for us but when Scott became Manager again we started to find our feet again and get the confidence back in the team which we needed. Have expectations been met? I think this one is difficult, maybe we did, maybe we didn’t. After the start we had I think we was expected to maybe win the league I don’t know. But I’d have taken it before the start of the season. It’s always nice getting a run in the FA Vase as well and even nicer that we have qualified for the FA Cup next season which is a bonus for the club as a whole.
Chaz Fisher: The FA Vase run we had was a good moment as well as beating Campion to keep our promotion hopes alive. Worst moment has to be the loss to Hallam in the my opinion was a low point as that was the season pretty much over.
Liam Nelthorpe: Best moment has to be the undefeated run we went on and on a personal level the game against Dunston where we upset the odds and I got the 2 goals. Worst moment has to be every game I lose as it feels horrendous so I’ll have to say each defeat especially the one in the Vase replay and also the bad run after a change in management. Has this season met expectations? Yes and more. I played for Winterton in the NCEL Premier when we had a great squad, although the club finds itself lower in the pyramid the foundations in place now are a lot better and everything seems positive with ambitions which personally meet mine.
Expectations for next season…
Paul Grimes: Our expectations for next season are fairly straightforward. We want a level of consistency which will get us promotion in whatever method the FA decide to think up for next season. Scott as manager, and myself and Jon as part of his team, have high standards and high expectations of everyone and the bar will be raised again in that respect from now. That won’t suit everyone and that’s fine but it’s been made very clear already what we are looking for. Some people will want to be part of that and others may decide not to be.
Jon Taylor: We set off the season with the target of winning the league and as already stated we were in it to the end. This is a tough league to win and I am sure once we are out of it we will do well in the league above as we have beat many teams at that level. The minimum expectation was to improve on our position from last season and we easily did this. The FA’s new structure where only one team gets promoted and no play-offs did nobody any favours and I am sure no one would have wanted to play us if the play offs were still there. Simple – To win the league and gain promotion and do well in the Vase and FA Cup, it would be great to have a good cup run but the league is so important.
Kieran Wressell: It’s very clear what we expect next season and that’s simply that we have to go up. It’s a must especially with 4 teams likely to be promoted. If we keep the same team with a few additions there’s no reason why we can’t go and win it!
Chaz Fisher: I feel expectations where met, FA Cup qualification and league position was about right. Aim would have been play offs if they where still around which was a massive improvement on last season. Next season it has to be promotion. Hopefully management will be able to improve the squad for next season and keep majority of the team together.
Liam Nelthorpe: Next season the aim has to be to win the league & hopefully the Lincs Cup. I hope to do well in both the FA Vase and FA Cup to bring in money for the club and be nice to have a good run in the league cup.
Overall thoughts on Winterton Rangers…
Paul Grimes: The club is really well run, with a number of dedicated people who work hard to make sure the conditions are right for success. I’ve played at clubs at a higher level that are not ran anywhere as well or as smoothly as Winterton. Off the pitch we know things are ready for a step up and we will be doing everything we can to make sure we match those ambitions on the pitch next season.
Jon Taylor: What a club, what a great set of players and staff. The club is now moving in the right direction and is ambitious. Myself, Scott and Grimesy are all excited by the future and can’t wait for the new campaign. We have a great set of players and know with a few additions we will be successful.
Kieran Wressell: The club is absolutely class. I actually don’t think there is one bad person at the club. People behind the scenes at Winterton do a cracking job and I’m very happy to be apart of it and so are all of the other lads. The setup and everything about the club is going in the right direction and deserves promotion!
Chaz Fisher: As a club it’s heading in the right direction both on and off the field. Facilities keep getting improved and there is a great feeling around the place. Hopefully this keeps getting better and it will start showing more on the pitch.
Liam Nelthorpe: Nothing but good things to say about the club. Very well ran, just wish we had the following that the club deserves, maybe with some silverware next season we may get more through the gate.