So another successful Beachboys season ends with the club finishing in the top half of the National South and retaining the Essex Senior Cup.
We sat down and spoke with manager Adam Flanagan for his reflections on the 2015/2016 season…
After completing your first season managing at this level, looking back would you call it a successful season? What have you learnt, and has it made you better prepared for next season?
I am an ambitious manager so my views on what a successful season is may vary from others. For me a successful season is winning promotion – plan and simple, winning a cup or having a good FA cup run is a good season, not getting relegated is an average season and getting relegated is a terrible one. So I look at my first season at Concord as being good – not great – not rubbish but with plenty of scope for development and improvement
I feel like I have learnt a lot this year with regards to opposition, players, agents, contacts and the learning curve has been sharp and steep. It is easy to forget that this was only my second full season managing in a league with lots of ex professionals as league managers so at times I did feel overwhelmed. I feel I have made mistakes this season and I also feel I have got some decisions right and I know from making the mistakes that next season this will make me better.
I came into this division with no knowledge of the level with respects to clubs, managers, players so I definitely feel I will be better prepared for next season having had a season at this level.
As like most season’s we now face the time of year where we try to retain our players who the bigger clubs with better finance will always try to pinch. I believe that if we can be successful in retaining most of the squad that with a few additions next season that we will only be stronger and that with a better start we can improve on what we achieved this season.
When joining the club, would you have taken a top half finish and retaining the Essex Senior Cup as a good return for your 1st season?
When I joined the club my ultimate aim was not to allow the club to get relegated. The club have done so well over recent years I didn’t want to be the manager that made them take a backwards step. The next target was to try and retain the Essex Senior Cup followed by a good run in the FA cup and trophy.
So if someone would have said you could have a top 10 finish and retaining the Essex Senior Cup I would have bitten their hand off ha ha!! However as the season progressed and I became more familiar with the league I soon released that on our day we could match and beat anyone so with 5 games to go I genuinely believed that the playoffs were an option. In the end this didn’t materialise but it hasn’t stop me from thinking this is where we should be aiming next season even if safety is our first target.
What has pleased you most about the team’s play this season?
I think our forward play has been very good this season and at one point we were the second top scorers in the league. We faded a bit in the end but to have two players in the leading scoring charts was a good achievement and showed our threat going forward.
Most of all I was happy with how the team came together as the club lost several good players last summer so several new faces had to come in. It took some time for us to come together but as we showed from Boxing Day onwards once we did we were a hard team to beat.
Again what can they improve on next season?
Next season we need to address our goals against column as this was too high this year so defensively we need to improve. It is no surprise that this was the part of the team that had the most changes this year which I feel has also played a part. We will work on this next year and I know improvements will be made.
What was the your highlight of the season?
My highlight of the season was going back to Dartford and winning. We scored two great goals and put in a very good performance. As an ex player you always want to beat your old team. I also liked getting revenge and beating Chelmsford in the cup and reverse league fixture as it was a painful night when we lost to them at their place. While I am happy we won the cup I didn’t feel we played well in the final so it took a little bit of gloss off the night for me.
I am pleased with how we have been able to incorporated a few of our under 18 players this season into the first team. Adam Topley recently got some match minutes after impressing in training. They have had a taste of first team football and hopefully this will push them and make them hungrier to break into the first team on a more permanent basis.
Also if there was one game you could say “I wished we could have played that again” What would it be and why?
To be fair there is not one game that stands out for me. I would like to replay all of the games we lost especially at home as if we could have won those home fixtures this season we could have ended completely different to what it has.
How have you found replacing the clubs most successful manager?
I always knew replacing Danny would be tough but if I am being honest I have found it tougher than I thought. Everywhere at the club his success is evident to see and is there as a constant reminder. He loved the club and everyone at the club loved him so I know a lot of what I have done has probably been compared to what has been done in the past. I believe managing is like playing, the longer you do it the better you become so my hope is that next season I will improve further and that in time and with continued success maybe I will create a little bit of my own history with the club and get a few photos on the wall.
Adam was chatting to Chris Clark.