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Story posted: Monday, 21st May 1990

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Gresley Rovers boss Frank Northwood is to have one final crack at the Banks’s League title.
Northwood revealed at the club’s annual dinner this weekend: “I feel this will be my last season as manager at Gresley – although I would love to stay on afterwards as general manager. All last season’s players have pledged their loyalty to Gresley and will be staying on – that includes people like Richard Denby and Bob Aston. They obviously believe we can win the title this time and so do I.”

Earlier, club chairman Peter Hall had told guests: “We’ve had a disappointing season. We should have won the league but we fell down in the last few matches.”

But he added later: “We have given Frank another 12 months. Football management is difficult at any level, but Frank has done wonders for us. We’ve heard unofficially that we won’t be getting promotion to the Beazer Homes League and while we’re still hoping that we will, we feel that if we win the league next time, and get all our work done on the ground, there will be no way they can turn us down next time.”

Northwood, meanwhile, has blamed the club’s failure to win the Banks’s title on the league’s fixture planners.

He said: “I don’t agree with the chairman that we’ve had a bad year. Over the seasons we’ve been the most consistent side in the Banks’s League. We’ve never been out of the top four since I’ve been manager.

“But the game is all about playing on Saturday and I believe we would have lifted the trophy if the league had got that right. But our fixture programme was erratic to say the least.”

“Every game against Gresley was “like a cup final” for opposing sides. That was what players had to live with and it was ‘very hard’.

“Injuries to key players was another factor. Striker Kieron Smith had been missed at the end of the season and when midfielder Michael Guest dropped out “the side lost a bit of heart.”

Asked about his own future, Northwood said: “I’ve always got doubts as a manager but I’ve got the backing of the chairman and the committee and I think Gresley is the best club from here to Kingdom come.”

Club skipper Denby added: “I’m disappointed that we haven’t gone up but I’m stopping. I’m happy at Gresley, there’s no better club, but we’ve got to go up next season. It would do us a world of good.

“The lads all want to stick together. They’re a great bunch of players, there’s a great set-up at Gresley and there’s no point in moving.”
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League Position
  Team P GD Pts
10 Highgate United 29 -3 38
11 South Normanton Athletic 26 0 37
12 Worcester City 26 11 36
13 AFC Wulfunians 31 -6 36
14 Coventry Sphinx 25 -19 34
15 Tividale 23 -4 27
16 Haughmond 29 -29 26
17 Racing Club Warwick 24 -29 24
18 Lye Town 28 -31 18
19 Gresley 26 -22 16
20 Selston 25 -38 13

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