Essex Senior League: Ilford joint-manager Billy Cove takes positives out of season

PUBLISHED: 10:00 04 May 2018

Ilford manager Billy Cove (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

Ilford manager Billy Cove (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Ilford joint-manager Billy Cove is drawing out the positives from a rollercoaster season in the Essex Senior League.

The Foxes finished the campaign with nine straight defeats after suffering a 3-1 defeat to Waltham Forest in their final game of the 2017/18 season.

Cove admitted he is pleased to put that one behind him and start planning for next season.

“We’re pleased to get that season out of the way,” he said.

“We can now all go away and reflect on what we could’ve done better.

“I think the start we had to the season didn’t help.”

The former Maidenhead United striker believes the off-pitch struggles cost them and praised fellow manager Allan Fenn for his hard work to keep the club going.

“It’s been a tough one, it’s one where events off the pitch have had a detrimental effect on it.

“In June 2017 we only had one player and a Manager due to being chucked out of the league.

“Fenny then worked his socks off and went to Wembley to fight our cause, and won.

“He then had to single handily rebuild the club from scratch, when most would’ve walked away.

“He invited me over to be his assistant manager and we slowly started to put something together.

“We can beat ourselves up and say it’s been a disappointing season, or we can look at all the distractions the club had at the start, and think finishing mid table and reaching the quarter final and semi final of the cups isn’t such a bad thing, and gives us some foundation to build on.”

Cove revealed they will be changing the way things are done at the club next season to improve their fortunes.

“We learned that if we want to compete and get out of this league, we need to train twice per week so we are fitter, we need more stability and togetherness throughout the camp, we need to be friends on and off the pitch and we need to act far more professionally from top to bottom.

“We have had a lot of ups and downs this season, but we now know what we need to do to enable us to concentrate on team matters.”

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