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Jamie Connors contemplating Eton Manor future after National League Three South season comes to an end

PUBLISHED: 13:00 29 April 2016

Eton Manor head coach Jamie Connors (left) has enjoyed great success at the New Wilderness (pic: Martin Pearl).

Eton Manor head coach Jamie Connors (left) has enjoyed great success at the New Wilderness (pic: Martin Pearl).

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New Zealander to make decision about whether to continue as head coach over next couple of days, but has praised his squad of players

Eton Manor head coach Jamie Connors admits he is unsure if he will be in charge of the club for the 2016/17 season in London One North.

The New Zealander watched the New Wilderness outfit end their National League Three South campaign last weekend with a 60-12 defeat at fourth-placed Hertford.

Manor lost all 26 fixtures in the division, but it was their first season at such a high level and now Connors conceded that he doesn’t know whether he will lead the club next year.

He said: “I’m still thinking about my future and I’m really not sure what I want to do for next season yet. I live quite far away from the club and have a young family so it is something I’m talking to my work about and the club.

“The club are keen for me to stay and if I lived around the corner I’d definitely say yes, but we hope to come to a conclusion over the next couple of days.”

If Connors does leave, he can be proud of his achievements at Manor after taking them up to the National League for the first time in their history.

He was full of praise for the effort of his squad this season, despite a difficult campaign and also revealed the work taking place at the club over the summer.

“The club is looking at doing a small extension to the changing rooms. It will make them National League Three standard and they are talking to a water supplier about getting unlimited water for all the pitches next year,” added Connors.

“That is something I’m not sure anybody has in London One North, so the club are planning ahead well.

“I think they realise that on and off the pitch, we weren’t a National Three club this season, but if we are fortunate enough to get there again, we’ll have a lot more in place off the pitch to do well in the division.”

Elliot Brown and Harry Bone grabbed Manor’s tries at Hertford last weekend and Connors was proud of his side.

He admitted it was pleasing to see some of the youngster at the club get a taste of life in the National League before they drop back to the London One North for next season.

Connors added: “We were hoping to do a little bit better than we did, but up against a team that finished fourth and isn’t too far away from the top sides, we did well to get a few tries and it is a tough pitch to play on.

“They have a big slope and we were going up that in the first half and when they get you on the line, it’s difficult to get out, but we did well and I’m happy to have finished the campaign.

“Harry is a young lad that has been in the second team for a number of years, but has stepped up and been involved in the last few games.

“We gave a few of the younger lads an opportunity and another to step up was Bobby Grace so it was pleasing to give them a taste of National League level.”

Manor’s head coach went on to praise the effort of his squad and admit it’s impossible to compete with some of the teams they’ve faced this year.

But he hopes the New Wilderness club can use the experience of this season to have success in the London One North.

“I can’t fault the guys effort, throughout the season it has been fantastic and they’ve always put it in. Even in tough times, losing every week, the numbers at training have been brilliant and they all deserve credit,” said Connors.

“Unfortunately as a squad we haven’t quite been good enough to get a couple of victories, but I really think we deserved too. On a couple of occasions we come close and just couldn’t get over the line, but it has been a great experience.

“From the club’s point of view, I hope the experience the players have got this season will help them in the London One North next year.

“I think the top five or six teams in the National League Three could probably do well in the division above so it’s a funny old league. You have some clubs with a quarter of a million budget a year that goes on players and the facilities. It’s crazy.”


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