The Warkworth Mens First football team will face a new challenge next season after being relegated from the AFF/NFF Mens Conference.
In 18 matches, the team won just three games and scored 20 goals, 10 less than any other side.
As a result, the side finished second from bottom in its 10-team competition this year and under
Northern Football Federation regulations will likely drop it into Mens 1st Division.
Team manager Ross Millar says it’s a disappointing end to a season that didn’t have to go this way.
“I didn’t think relegation was something we would have to deal with, and I believe this team was good enough that we could have avoided it,” Millar says.
“We played some good football, but didn’t capitalise on our opportunities and scored very few goals, which let us down.”
Millar says they now face a team rebuild to get promoted back into the Mens Conference.
“Bringing up a number of young players who hadn’t experienced first team football before this season is something I’m proud of, but now they need to keep improving so we can compete for promotion.
“Even though it’s not where we want to be, I think getting some wins under our belt in a lower league will build confidence and change the attitude of our players for the best.”
He says the squad should be similar next season, but admits retaining players can be difficult.
“A lot of younger players leave this area so we need to make them feel valued in the team, so they have a reason to stay at this club.”
Millar highlighted Kyal Wells as a young talent who has great balance in his game and reads play well.
“Goalkeeper Simon Borich was also a standout player this year, doing a lot of work when we were under pressure and improving his individual game hugely this season.”
Millar is unsure of his future with the team, as the decision rests with the club’s committee.