The Evo-Stik League Southern
Published 17th May 2012
.....disappointing run-in to the season, but has decided he wants to carry on.
A mid-table finish in their first season in the Evo-Stik League Southern Division One Central would have delighted most managers, but Edwards, who has been with the Saints for eight years, felt deflated.
He questioned the players’ motivation and felt the anti-climax of a nine game run without a win as play-off hopes vanished.
But having had time to reflect, he says he will stick with his first love and try to make them an even bigger force next season. “You always reflect at the end of a season and even after we lost the FA Vase semi-final a couple of seasons ago, I questioned whether it was time for me to move on," Edwards said.
“This year was no different. I’ve been here an awful long time now and I admit I found last season disappointing. It was a season of struggles with injuries and our tight budget.
“I’ve had a number of chances to move away, but I think the only time I actually said I’d walk away was if I didn't get the club promoted last year. I think if I’d failed then, I would have stepped aside to let someone else come in.
Edwards says a period of reflection has helped to put some perspective on the campaign – with the support of chairman Denis Mair a factor in his decision to stick around for now.
“If you look on it a few weeks later, you'd probably say we've done a good job here because we've taken a club with financial restraints to mid-table and should be quite proud of that.
“But I’m ambitious as a manager and want to move on as far as I can – although at 32 you feel you haven’t learnt everything yet about the game.
“The chairman’s ambitious for me. He feels I have the potential to go a long way and I have a lot of faith in Denis too. He won’t stand in the way of me making a move elsewhere, but it would have to be a decent move.
“My plan is to get my head down and make Chalfont as successful as I can next season. I want to make the club as successful as we possibly can and I think there is a good basis for us to be able to do that.
Edwards is now beginning the process of recruiting the six players he says he wants to bring in to give the Saints a shot at making the play-offs - with the priority a search for someone to replace striker Charlie Strutton, who left for AFC Wimbledon in mid-season.
"I want to be involved in highest possible level of football and I'll try to instill that in my players, whoever we have here next season," Edwards said.
"I think if you set out with limited ambition, it's very easy for people to hide behind excuses and failures. You have to be realistic with your targets, but if you set your stall out, you can achieve far more than if you simply accept a small target."