Where do I start?
First of all, I want to thank Billy (Paynter) and everyone at Runcorn Linnets for the respectful way they reacted after, what for them, was a difficult result. To a man, they congratulated every single one of our players and members of staff, which is a credit to them, and I wish them the very best for next season.
Our club has been through some tough times over the last few seasons but we finally achieved our goal of promotion after a challenging week and difficult matches against two very good teams.
I have said from day one that, with the belief I had in this group, we could fulfil our dreams and, sure enough, the players certainly delivered on the two big occasions in the play-offs. They are a real pleasure to work with, week in, week out and the commitment they have shown, with the backing of their families, has been incredible. I cannot thank them enough.
I need to offer huge personal thanks to my staff who have offered great support through the season. They have been there for me through my ups and downs when games haven’t gone our way. Ronan, Caitlin and kitman Phil are a pleasure to work with every week.
We had a tough pre-season and I was grateful to have Ruddy (Steven Rudd) alongside and cannot thank him enough for all his help in recruitment and planning for the season ahead. After Ruddy left to further his career elsewhere, I was lucky to have a good friend, Carl Phillips, step-up and help on a temporary basis and I thank him for his stint with the club. Terry (Mitchell) came in after our difficult start to the campaign and has stood side-by-side with me since September. The advice and knowledge he has given, not only to the team but myself as a young coach, has been invaluable and I cannot thank him enough.
My family have had to endure every emotion with me this season but have always been there and, without them, I wouldn’t have managed to get through it – so big thanks to them too.
Finally, the crowd on Saturday was incredible but that backing has been there throughout the season and everyone at the club is grateful for the continued support. The RISC boys have helped the club in many aspects and the Board certainly appreciate the financial assistance.
I cannot wait until next season as we start on our next challenge together.