Godmanchester Rovers boss Matt Clements determined to keep hold of his runners-up
- Credit: Archant
Godmanchester Rovers manager Matt Clements has set himself a crucial summer mission - keeping his classy squad together.
Rovers celebrated a second successive Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division runners-up finish after ending the campaign with a wonderful 20-game unbeaten run.
Nineteen of those league matches ended in victories as they finished only four points adrift of champions Norwich United, who they also beat home and away. Rovers had been 26 points adrift when the same two teams occupied the same positions in the previous season.
Clements’ men could still be promoted if title-winners United snub the chance to go up (something they did at the end of last season) but he is determined to keep hold of his players regardless of the level they could be playing at next term.
Clements said: “We have a fantastic group of players, who have been an absolute privilege to manage.
“I’m sure there will be a lot of interest in the lads and that is perfectly understandable after such a good season.
“Keeping them together will be a hugely important job this summer – whether we are at Step 4 or Step 5.
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“We’ve done all we can by securing second spot and now the promotion situation is out of our hands.
“We’ve put ourselves into the position to step in if Norwich United, or any other team, chooses not to fulfil their right to take promotion.
“We would obviously be delighted if the opportunity arises, but if not we need to ensure we continue to progress as we have done this season.”
One player who won’t be returning to the David Wilson Homes Ground is Luke Brown. The teenage striker has been a revelation since arriving on loan from Histon in February, but he is now set to continue his footballing journey with a scholarship in America.
Brown took his Godmanchester goal tally to 19 by striking three times in their final two matches of the season.
He was one of three players – captain Taylor Parr and Micky Hyem the others – to bag a brace as Rovers wrapped up second spot with a 7-0 drubbing of Kirkley & Pakefield in their penultimate outing last Wednesday night.
James Hall also made a cameo return to Rovers’ colours with a scoring appearance as a substitute on a snowy night. It was his first outing in a Godmanchester shirt since joining higher-level Cambridge City at the end of January.
Rovers were then presented with the Premier Division runners-up shield ahead of their 3-0 success at Ipswich Wanderers last Saturday as they preserved their proud unbeaten run which stretches back to December 19.
Luke Seaber-Shinn made the breakthrough before Jonny Hall, twin brother of James, doubled the advantage. Brown hit their last and 130th league goal of the campaign in the second half.
Clements added: “Ending the season with a 20-game unbeaten run in the league is a fantastic achievement.
“We also started the season superbly with a 12-game unbeaten run, and it is just a couple of months where we had the odd stumble that have ended up costing us.
“But we can still look back with pride on an excellent season and a lot of progress on and off the field.”