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Martin ‘couldn’t leave’ Romford

Romford manager Paul Martin (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO) Romford manager Paul Martin (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Friday, May 16, 2014
2:02 PM

Manager reveals reasons behind decision to stay

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Paul Martin admitted it would have been ‘too hard’ to leave Romford after announcing his decision to remain as manager for the 2014/15 season.

Martin has seen the club progress in each of the last five years in Ryman One North and revealed he wanted to see if he could help them take one more step.

“I’ve got such a good relationship with Steve Gardener and Colin Ewenan and talk to the fans all the time. It’s like a big family so it would have been hard,” he said.

“The situation with having our own ground is frustrating but we should know by Christmas if it’s being built or not so I want to give it a good go next season.

“I didn’t want to leave not knowing about the stadium and I had calls from fans and messages on the forum. I’ve got a lot of respect for them.

“Lets go for the play-offs. I’ve been building a squad for three or four seasons and the boys have played a lot more games together.

“If it doesn’t happen with the ground, it could be the last year, but lets give it one last turn instead of just looking to stay up.”

Boro finished the recent campaign with 68 points, their best haul since gaining promotion from the Essex Senior League.

And Martin, who will not have a reserve or under-18 team to call upon next term, is hoping to keep the majority of his first-team squad together after getting double Player of the Year Abs Seymour to agree to stay.

He added: “I didn’t want to break up the squad and some of them have been offered good jobs with clubs.

“But Abs is staying which is a massive bonus. Every time you give awards out you lose players, but Abs is quality and his teammates wouldn’t question that.

“He makes the team tick and had offers from higher up but he would have found it hard to leave and I’m over the moon he’s staying.

“We will still do an open trial but I will have a 22-man squad, not the 60 I had with the reserves and under-18s.”

Martin will not have Mark Lord by his side next season, though, after his decision to retire. But he is backing new assistants Paul Clayton and Alex Goldstone to make their mark.

“Me and Lordy were like father and son, so it’s a massive blow losing him, but he made his decision early on and we knew it was coming,” he said.

“I’ve known Clayton longer so it was a no-brainer. The players respect him a lot and he has been consistent over the years. I still want him to do a job, but he can urge on the youngsters too.

“Alex knows his football too for a 26-year-old and is very keen. If I asked him to go to Scotland to sign a player he would!”

n Romford’s open trials for their Ryman One North first team only will be held at the Fords Sports Ground in Newbury Park, Ilford on Saturday June 14 and Sunday June 15.

They will start promptly at 11.30am and full details are available on the Romford FC facebook page and romfordfc.com.

Boro are also set to play in a four-team tournament against Aveley, East Thurrock and Grays on the weekend of July 26-27, with a friendly at Frenford on August 2.

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