HALSTEAD TOWN can reflect on a decent season for such a young side.
Manager and chairman Jimmy Holder is committed to developing young players and playing passing football, and it is beginning to reap some rewards.
“They’re a very young team and I’ve been really pleased with their performances this season,” said Holder.
Town finished sixth in the Ridgeons First Division, just outside the top-four finish that would guarantee automatic qualification to next season’s FA Cup.
However, there is a chance that sixth place will prove enough to land them in the cup draw, as it has been in previous seasons.
What pleased Holder most this season was the consistency his young chargers showed.
He said: “We didn’t do well against the top sides but we did very well against the teams around us in the league.”
Town were prolific in front of goal, scoring four times or more on an impressive seven occasions in the league.
Although they scored plenty, they also conceded more than the boss would have liked.
“It was a shame that we let so many in, conceding fewer goals next season will definitely be a priority,” he added.
“But they’re young players and as they get older they’ll become better at defending.”
Town enjoyed some success in the FA Vase, making their way through two qualifying rounds to achieve a place in the first round proper of the tournament.
However, they lost in the first round to Team Bury, a defeat that rankles with Holder as the biggest disappointment of the season.
“We had chances to win that game,” added the manager. “Given our respective league positions, we really should have beaten them.”
The fact that Halstead beat Team Bury home and away in the league this season proves the manager’s point.
Nico Farthing was picked out by the boss for the manager’s player-of-the-season award.
“He’s a central defender who has been solid for us all the way through the season,” said Holder.
The players’ player award went to defender and club captain Lewis Cunliffe.
The supporters, meanwhile, picked out exciting young striker Jon Root as their player of the season.
Jon contributed 18 goals this season and was singled out by his manager as an ‘exciting prospect’.
The top scorer was Reis Farley-Hearn, who banged in 20 goals for Town this season.
Looking forward to next season, Holder will seek to continue developing his young players.
He said: “So far they’ve all committed to staying, which is great, and we’re looking to add a couple more.”
The managers admits he would not want to consider the prospect of promotion, but if his players keep improving, they might have a chance.