I’ve not really been a great admirer of the Doodson Sport League Cup (or its various different aliases) over the years, but it turns out it could just be the best chance Ilkeston have of getting some silverware this season.
I think we can safely say that barring an incredible end to the season and some catastrophic collapses above them, the Robins won’t make the play-offs, nor for that matter are they likely to disappear into the relegation abyss.
That means that other than pride, a decent final league position and the chance to give some youngsters some good experience, there’s not much to play for and the League Cup might be a good little tonic to end the season on.
Monday’s win over Daventry was pretty encouraging, even if it did come against a club that is struggling on and off the pitch at the moment, and another side from Division One South are up next in the shape of Kidsgrove, so there’s every chance the Robins could progress further.
And with no Derbyshire Senior Cup to have a go at this year, here’s hoping it might after all be a season that warrants a shiny new trophy for the NMG cabinet.
A lot of questions are still being asked by fans regarding the club’s current state and exactly what is likely to happen in the future.
Clearly, the club’s hierarchy would like to get some answers out there and with that in mind, and following the cancellation of the fans’ forum a couple of weeks ago, I’m aiming to sit down with CEO Nigel Harrop and possibly a member of the supporters group for a Q&A on how the club is gearing up. I’m hoping that’ll be in the next few weeks and we’ll broadcast the Q&A in one way or another through print or online.
Transparency is crucial and fans have a right to know what’s happening and I know the likes of CEO Nigel Harrop have no problem with that. Perhaps more regular statements on certain situations might be welcome, but I know a lot is happening behind the scenes to help secure a positive future.
I don’t see the point in a lot of the personal and at times quite vitriolic attacks on those at the club as it’s often unnecessary and counter-productive, but until there is clarity and cause for optimism then I suppose it’s an unfortunate and natural by-product.
The New Manor Ground remains an exciting place to be in terms of the potential for the club to move forward if everything is done correctly, but part of that will be the Robins’ board having the fans on their side and in some cases that remains very much a ‘work in progress’.
In the meantime, here’s hoping some more points can be accrued in some tough upcoming games to give the fans something to cheer on the playing side of things between now and the end of April.