Allan Fenn happy Ilford finished Essex Senior League campaign with victory at Burnham Ramblers

PUBLISHED: 15:00 29 April 2016

Ilford manager Allan Fenn (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Ilford manager Allan Fenn (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

©TGS Photo +44 8450 946026

Foxes boss discusses performance of Wale Odedoyin and Chris Stevens as well as hopes for next year

Allan Fenn was delighted his Ilford team concluded their Essex Senior League season with a 4-1 win at Burnham Ramblers, but was unhappy with their first-half display.

The Foxes knew a victory on Saturday would ensure they finished sixth, but they struggled for 45 minutes. It was a different story after the break, though, as Wale Odedoyin helped himself to a hat-trick and Chris Stevens found the net.

Fenn said: “We didn’t play very well in the first half and we always want the same intensity whether it is the opening match of the season or the last.

“But the boys didn’t have that in the first 45. We lacked cohesion and didn’t pass it well enough. We had a few raised words at the break and I didn’t want to do that.

“I said to them before the game, I don’t want to be shouting on our last day. I had to, however, and the response they gave me was excellent. We really could have gone on to score a few more as well.”

The Foxes manager did have mixed emotions after full time, though, when he discovered some news.

And it was an announcement that he feels will make the league weaker, Fenn added: “It was bittersweet because I learnt that Keith Wilson had resigned as Burnham’s boss to join the East Thurrock United coaching team.

“He is a really good guy so it’s disappointing for the Essex Senior League to lose somebody of his calibre.”

But for Ilford, it has been a positive season with fifth place reflecting their upward trajectory under Fenn and they will hope to improve on this next year.

One area they’ll hope to improve on is the amount of goals they’ve scored and the Foxes boss hopes the return of a former coach at the club will help.

“Wale has got 16 or 17 goals for us since joining around Christmas time. That’s a great achievement from the fella and I’m sure he has got 20 overall for the season,” added Fenn.

“For next year we have our old coach Jon Moody coming back, he has been doing his UEFA B license and been at St George’s Park with Francis Jeffers amongst others.

“We are hoping he can come in and improve our attack for next season because we can’t afford to buy people. We want Wale to stay, hopefully he does and then with Jon’s coaching we can double the tally he got this year.

“He is willing to learn and listen and from a coaches point of view that’s fantastic so we have high hopes for next season.”

Somebody that will definitely be at Cricklefields next year is Ilford legend Stevens after he confirmed to Fenn he’d be staying for another season.

And the experienced forward, who scored his 200th goal for the club in September, believes they can do something special in the 2016/17 campaign.

Fenn said: “Chris doesn’t just get goals, he does so much more. He has been scoring for so many years at all levels of football, but does so much more than just that.

“His attitude off the pitch is fantastic and he’s such a great presence to have in and around the boys. He does a lot of organising for me on the pitch. He’s a fantastic character and keeps people calm when they are losing their rag at times.

“It’s fantastic that he’s committed for another season. He wants to finish on a high and that would be us winning the league next year which will be incredibly tough, but he believes we can do it and we’re delighted that we have him signed up for next season.”

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