Head coach Watson understanding over Ilkeston departures

Andy Watson
Andy Watson

Head coach Andy Watson says he understands Ilkeston FC’s decision to release eight first team players from their contracts and has laid down the gauntlet to the younger members of his squad to fill the void.

The Robins announced on Friday that they were streamlining their squad in order to make the club a more attractive proposition to potential investors. You can read more HERE

But Watson believes he has enough talent at his disposal to replace those players who have left the club.

He said: “The future well-being of the club is most important and when you’re trying to attract investors, you have to balance the books.

“In this case it’s meant several of our players leaving the club and that’s something I’ll now have to address in terms of which players I bring in to replace them.

“It’s a situation where one player’s misfortune could well become another’s good fortune, because if those stepping in do well then it could open many doors for them.”

Ilkeston’s academy squad have impressed this season with a run to the third round of the FA Youth Cup where they were beaten 3-2 by Newcastle United.

Many of that team could now be in contention for a starting place having initially just been on the fringes of the first team.

Watson said: “Obviously we’ve had players like Jordan Wheatley and Jamie Hannis become first team regulars but there have been others knocking on the door given their fine displays throughout the season.

“So this will be a chance for some of them to shine.

“At the same time, I’m very keen to ensure we remain competitive and give the fans good cause to continue coming through the gate. I’m confident that will be the case.

“It’s a big ask, of course, but if we manage them properly then this could be a great opportunity for the players themselves as well as the club.”

Ilkeston head to Skelmersdale United on Saturday before the visit of Daventry Town in the Evo-Stik League Challenge Cup on Monday night.