Wetherby Athletic boss pleased with teenage progress

Beeston St Anthonys v WSetherby Athletic West Yorkshire League Premiker Division sat 10th march 2012'Sean Jeavons   of Beeston St Anthonys is foiled by an outstretched leg of Wetherby Athletic defender Joe Bardon
Beeston St Anthonys v WSetherby Athletic West Yorkshire League Premiker Division sat 10th march 2012'Sean Jeavons of Beeston St Anthonys is foiled by an outstretched leg of Wetherby Athletic defender Joe Bardon

Wetherby Athletic Des English highlighted the growth of his young stars as the overriding success of their season.

Athletic slipped to a final day 2-0 defeat at home to Bardsey on Saturday as the away side clinched the league title.

But English believes his 10th placed finishers gave a strong account of themselves and could have snatched something from the game had they been clinical.

He said: “We battled hard but they had quality in front of goal. They did the damage in the first 25 minutes and I had warned against that.

“We had a few chances that we didn’t take. It was the story of our season.”

Roman Neal fell ill and Mavi Sidhu pulled out injured hours before the game as Athletic’s late injury crisis continued.

Seventeen-year-olds Charlie Yates and Josh Barden made their first team debuts in the last two games and the progession of young stars pleased the boss.

Athletic won seven of their first eight games of the season before a cup defeat sent results spiralling.

English pinpointed his young side’s fast start as the season’s highlight and has targeted building on the foundations .

He said: “If people had said we would consolidate our position in the Premier League and we would have brought through a lot of local young lads I would have taken that.

“The club’s in a very good position.

“If we had ended the season the way we started it would have been ideal. It is a bit disappointing because we got off to a flying start.

“We never hit the heights that we had. But we have stuck to our footballing principles.

“It is the best way for these lads to learn. We have had to be brave.”

Captain Brian Ross announced his retirement after the match and his gaffer paid special praise to him after more than 20 years service to the club.

The boss thanked Ross for his contribution and said it was a fitting way for him to retire as first team captain.

“That’s testament to the man. He’s battled back from a broken leg to captain us. He’s a proper club legend,” English added.

English is looking for two wingers, a striker and a left-back to strengthen his squad for next year.

He added: “We need to be in pre-season training hard and then have a good test in pre-season friendlies. We want to attract a few players that can push us to the next level.

“We have a couple of irons in the fire and we are making phone calls .

“This team is a young team with its best days ahead.”