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Overachievement Yet Underachievement for Met

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Metropolitan Police finished seventeenth in the Ryman League Premier Division table, but only avoided relegation by a single point.

Manager Jim Cooper gave his end of season review and his thoughts on the season: “Thank heavens the league season is over. We managed to scrape through by the skin of our teeth but whether it was one point or ten we will be competing in the ever-improving Ryman Premier for the 2017/18 season.

“As soon as the final whistle went on Saturday both Gavin Macpherson and I had mixed emotions. We were gutted for Jamie Howell and for Bognor Regis Town in general and we were obviously satisfied that we had survived. We didn’t feel that it was necessary to celebrate as why would we celebrate mediocrity which if we analyse the season that`s exactly what the league season was.

“Yes, the budget we have suggests that we should always be fighting in the relegation zone each year but we`re used to over-achieving and at the very start of each season we set a target of aiming for the play-offs. Should we be competing at this end of the table? No (Budget suggests not). Will we aim for the play-offs next season? Of course. I wouldn’t be able to look my players in the eye if I didn’t genuinely believe we could do that and if we analyse the results from this season, we should have been pushing for one of the places.

“Clearly our pre-season was not right. For some reason or another, players we brought in were not good enough or their fitness levels were below that of our opponents or just poor management from me and my team put us on the back foot. Three points achieved after the first eleven league games and everyone was backing us to get relegated. We then put 47 points onto our total in the next 27 games which if we would have averaged those points throughout the season we would have ended up on 80 points which would have been enough for third place.

“The results against the top sides also bring optimism – 15 points out of a total of 30 available against the top six sides. Again that shows a side of us that we are not proud of. Yes, we can compete against the top sides but the lower ones we struggle with. This is something we will address next season.

“There has been a lot to proud of though. We are in the final of the London Senior Cup which is to be played next Wednesday, 3rd May. Our reserves are in two cup finals and our under-18s won the county cup, their league and will compete for the ‘Ryman Champions Trophy’. They also had yet another very good FA Youth cup run.

“Olli Robinson was the players` player and supporters` player of the year so well done to him.

“Sadly we saw Elliot Taylor leave us to pursue his career as an estate agent and he has been missed massively”.

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About Author

Former Swansea City and Kettering Town defender who has been managing the likes of Kettering Town u18s, Rothwell Town, Desborough Town and Wellingborough Town for 33 years as well as being technical director at AFC Rushden & Diamonds. Began in non-League journalism as editor of Team Talk magazine back in the early 1990s and then as editor of Non-League Daily, joining Pitchero to set up Pitchero Non-League in January 2011. Also works for the National League.

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