AS THE dust settles on Witton Albion’s tumultuous season which ended in disaster for the red and white half of Northwich on Saturday, manager Gary Finley told supporters – we will be back.
The agonising 2-1 defeat at home to Guiseley at Wincham Park, on the back of seven games without a victory, condemned Witton to relegation from the UniBond Premier League.
In the space of a season, Albion have gone from missing out on automatic promotion by a single goal with one of the best squads in the league, to the UniBond First Division.
The demise included the sacking of ex-boss Nigel Deeley and the coming and going of more than 50 players. Regaining the Mid Cheshire Senior Cup was a brief celebration is a season full of disappointment.
But despite the reality of Witton dropping out of the Premier, Finley told the Chronicle that he was determined to lead the club back at the first time of asking next season.
“I have spoken to the chairman and I told him that I would like to stay,” he said. “I have only been at the club for four months and when I first arrived I agreed a three-year plan.
“If we stayed up in the UniBond then we would build next year, if we got relegated into the UniBond First then we would look to bounce back at the first attempt and then build from there.”
It is not yet confirmed which division Witton will begin life in next season although it is likely they will start their bid for an instant return to the Premier in UniBond First South.
A decision will not be made until mid-May but long Away trips to Goole, Grantham and Loughborough lie in wait.
Mark Harris is expected to stay in his role of acting chairman of the club and is expected to meet with Finley this week to discuss next season’s budget.
He said: “As far as I am concerned there is not a decision to make on Gary’s future. He has done an excellent job and we want him to stay.
“If we end up in the South then that will have consequences on our budget as our travelling costs will double. Also, with no disrespect to clubs in that league, the crowds are much lower than those in the North.
“It is a nonsense that we are a few miles from Warrington Town and yet we be playing in different leagues.
“I want to thank our supporters though because they have been absolutely tremendous. They are the ones that deserve the club to bounce back as they are the ones that keep us going.”