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Robins to learn fate for 2018/19

Steve Chettle is hoping to be able to make more concrete plans over the next week.
Steve Chettle is hoping to be able to make more concrete plans over the next week.

Steve Chettle says he hopes to confirm new deals with his Ilkeston Town players in the coming days - once the club is told which division they’ll be playing in next season.

The FA’s leagues committee were due to meet on Wednesday (23rd) to discuss allocations across the country, with geographical changes and those forced upon them by voluntary demotions set to be among the factors to consider.

The Robins could be benefactors if a move up to step five is deemed viable, and that will help dictate the Chettle the kind of players he wants to recruit as well as keep.

He said: “We’ve had very little indication from the FA up to now but we should find out for certain this week.

“It’s been a bit frustrating because obviously I can’t base a squad on us being in step six if we are suddenly to find ourselves at step five, which we have been led to believe is a possibility.

“So once we know for sure I can plan accordingly because the difference in levels will dictate we might need different kinds of players, as would have been the case had we been promoted the usual way.

“There are some players I want to keep regardless and we’ve spoken to all of them, but hopefully things will become clearer in the coming days.”

Meanwhile, Chettle was among those present as the New Manor Ground hosted a trials day for the new academy set up by Ilkeston Town in partnership with Nottingham College.

The academy will follow in the footsteps of that of Ilkeston FC, which produced several players who went on to play professional football including Che Adams, Ashley Hunter and Chettle’s son Callum.

And the Robins boss hopes similar opportunities will present themselves.

Chettle said: “You’re always hoping to find a few rough diamonds in there and we’ll have Ben Morris, Jordan Wheatley and Jamie Hannis at the trials, all of whom progressed from the Ilkeston FC academy, to encourage and help.

“It’s tricky as a lot of lads will still be assigned to courses elsewhere but we’re hoping a good number will attend the trials.

“It will be good to have the academy players as an option because in my opinion, if you’re good enough, you’re old enough, as has been shown by the players we had come through before.

“Time will tell as to whether step five or six will be a good level to introduce young players to, as opposed to step three before, but we need to have the right kind of players first.

“Clearly it would be a bonus though if the first team can be complemented by younger players who deserve the chance to show what they can do.”

The club will hold its awards night at the New Manor Ground on Friday evening, with several honours for the first team and ladies team set to be handed out.