NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: March Town boss Mel Mattless looking to the future
- Credit: Archant
March Town manager Mel Mattless believes the experience gained during a difficult season will serve the club well in the future.
The Hares ended the campaign in 16th place in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division, their lowest finish since being bottom in 2013-14.
But it was a campaign in which there were positives as Mattless handed regular action to a promising crop of youngsters following his October appointment to succeed Chris Bartlett.
He is now keen to retain the services of his current players while recruiting a handful of experienced performers to compliment them as the club bid to climb the standings in 2017-18.
Mattless said: “My son, Max, told me it wouldn’t be an easy job and he was right. It was tougher than I ever imagined - especially as there was a mass exodus of players.
“But the flipside of that is it gave us the opportunity to bring through young local lads, who are going to be very important to the future of the club.
“We’ve had five 16 year-olds in the squad and the experience of playing men’s football at that age is only going to stand them in good stead.
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“There have been ups and downs along the way. We’ve had some really disappointing results, but we’ve also showed on occasions we can compete with the top teams.
“We need to retain as many players as possible and then it will be a case of trying to add some experience. It’s not a case of making wholesale changes by any means.
“We need to recruit well and we need to have a really good pre-season to make sure we go into next season in the best possible shape.”
The season ended on a disappointing note as March slipped to a 4-1 defeat at Needham Market Reserves last Saturday.
They fell behind on the stroke of half-time and were 3-0 down before Aaron Wykes headed his first Hares goal from a Jack Brand corner. Another strike from the hosts late on ended any thoughts of a comeback.
“It was a case of going from one extreme to the other,” admitted Mattless. “After arguably our best performance of the season against champions Stowmarket the previous Saturday, this was probably our worst.
“Conceding either side of half-time really hurt us and we were always chasing the game from then on.
“Our away form is something we need to address because 13 points from 20 games is not good enough.”
• Mattless is keen to hear from any players keen on joining March ahead of next season. Anyone interested should contact him on 07990 765736.