Julian Charles believes Woodford Town can win the league next season

Woodford Town in action against Hoddesdon Town in the Plate Final

Woodford Town in action against Hoddesdon Town in the Plate Final - Credit: Tim Edwards

Woodford Town co-manager Julian Charles believes his side can get promoted despite losing 3-0 to Hoddesdon Town in the Len Cordell Memorial Cup Plate at Oakside Stadium on Saturday.

Speaking after the game about the team’s future, Charles said: “My plans and aims have never changed.

"I came in at the beginning of December and my plan has always been to win as many games as possible. I plan to win the league and I still believe we can do that.

“It is early stages from where we were when I assembled the team together at the beginning of the tournament and I have seen improvement from then to now.

"Even though we lost today, I have seen signs of improvement, so it is just a case of working, and once we get fitter and gel a bit better, we are going to see bigger and better things from these players.”

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He added: “I think with some players, once they get their fitness up, that will add another layer to our game because of how I want to play with the high press and the energy. You need to be fit to do that and it relies on the boys to do that, but I do believe it will come.” 

The new-look Woodford Town squad had shown signs of promise leading up to the Plate final, improving upon performances from their difficult Essex Senior League campaign where they sat near the bottom of the table prior to the league’s cancellation in December.

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Discussing the occasion after the difficulties of the season, Charles said: “It was good, a beautiful day for it as well. Leading into the game we were quite consistent in terms of our results, especially at the beginning of this cup.

"We assembled a lot of new players, the whole squad is quite new so they are still trying to get gelled but today was a fantastic day for this occasion.” 

It was a tough game for Woodford Town in the Plate final, losing 3-0 to Hoddesdon Town having struggled in the first half.  

Speaking about the performance, Charles said: “I thought we lacked a bit of quality in the final third, we lacked movement, we lacked a bit of patience sometimes, we were not patient enough in possession, especially in the first half.

“I do not know if weather was a factor because some players do not like playing in the heat but nevertheless you need to play. For me some of the players were not fit enough, they can improve on their fitness.” 

However, Charles noted his side’s improvement, stating: “Second half was much better, there was an improvement. We saw more of the ball, more possession, we just needed to be a bit more clinical on the ball to try and move defences around which I thought we did not do. 

"Full credit to them [Hoddesdon Town], they sat in the low block, and caught us on the counter-attack, especially for their third goal. Credit to Hoddesdon, I thought they did really well to soak up that pressure.” 

Despite the result and playing at a neutral venue, Redbridge’s Oakside Stadium, Woodford Town fans created a home-team atmosphere, chanting throughout the entire 90 minutes and making noise with drums and a harmonica. 

Charles was appreciative of the support, saying: “That is what we play for. It is the fans' game, it is the people’s game so for them to be in the stadium and to be able to hear the noise, that was fantastic, not just for the players but also for the club. It is good for everyone all round.

“Our fans are always great, whether it is a Tuesday night quarter to eight kick off or whatever, they are like that, so hats off to them.” 

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