Jimmy McFarlane: It wasn't a hard decision to remain with Hornchurch in Ryman North
PUBLISHED: 15:30 12 May 2016
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Bridge Avenue boss reflects on future and who will stay at the club for 2016/17 campaign
Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane admits deciding to carry on at the Ryman North club next season wasn’t a hard decision.
Urchins boss wanted to achieve promotion at the start of the 2015/16 campaign and fell just short at the end.
They were beaten 3-1 in the Ryman North play-off final and it wasn’t a guarantee McFarlane would carry on.
But his admiration for the club meant there was no chance he would be walking away, he said: “It wasn’t a hard decision.
“I had become a little bit disillusioned with different elements of what has gone on with football and the rubbish with it. I said to my wife I was thinking about what to do next.
“But as we neared the end of the season, I realised what I wanted to do. I’ve got so much time and love for the people associated with this club and I was always going to stay.
“All in all it was a decent season, but I never ever thought we were in the final. When we have lost and drawn matches earlier in the season, I’ve always thought something will come for us.
“In the final, for whatever reason, we just didn’t turn up and Harlow were the better side on the day. I thought they were comfortable, well as comfortable as you can be in a play-off final, and the team that beat Thurrock in the semi-final didn’t turn up.”
Back in March it was confirmed that former Urchins ace Lewis Smith had bet against his old club during the 2012/13 campaign in the Conference South.
He has subsequently been suspended from all football and football related activity until 1 August 2017 by the Football Association and McFarlane’s focus is on next season.
One player that always attracts interest is Hornchurch forward George Purcell and that’s hardly a surprise.
This year he scored 41 goals in all competitions, but McFarlane is confident he will be at Bridge Avenue again come pre-season.
He added: “I’ve had preliminary chats with most of the boys, although some of those were after the play-off final and while doing shots last Friday!
“But so far I’ve had nothing but positive responses and this weekend is when we’ll be having the serious chats. I think it helps that we’ve had a pretty good season and we won’t ever fail to attract people to the club.
“We treat people well here and have developed a good reputation so we will have plenty of players staying again.
“George hasn’t told me this himself, but I’m sure he would probably have had 10 phone calls since the play-off final. He could have gone to six clubs last year, he had offers during the season with more money, but turned them down.
“We must be doing something right to have players staying when they are getting less earning here than they could elsewhere.”