Kennedy wants to manage Tigers one day - but timing is not right

Jon Kennedy
Jon Kennedy

Jon Kennedy would still like to manage Worksop Town one day - but admits the timing is not right at present.

Kennedy and Craig Denton, who had taken over first team duties since late November, have decided not to continue as manager and assistant now the season has finished.

The pair took on the responsibilities until the end of the 2016/17 campaign which ended with a home defeat to Thackley and a final placing of 13th in the NCEL Premier.

But, having upheld their agreement with the club, Kennedy believes the time is right for a more experienced head as Tigers look to rebuild for the 2017/18 season.

And said his first taste of management has not put him off from taking a position in the dugout when he finally decides to hang up his gloves - but not for a long time.

“It’s been a good learning curve for me as well as the other lads,” said Kennedy. “I feel like I’ve got two more years playing and to try and balance it all was getting harder.

“I would like to manage Worksop one day but the time is just not right at the moment. I think the club needs someone more experienced to take the reins and move us forward.

“I think that would make all parties happy to be honest.”

Amid off-field issues which saw Mark Shaw leave the club, cuts to the playing budget and several senior players departing, Kennedy and Denton fulfilled the fixtures and kept Worksop away from danger.

A club statement issued following Tuesday night’s management group meeting thanked the pair for their efforts in managing the team during a “difficult period”.

“It’s nice of the club to say what they have,” said Kennedy. “Craig and myself would like to thank them for the support we have had over the past few months.

“We decided against it because we felt it was time for someone else to take over the reins. We knew we had until the end of the season and that’s up.

“We could discuss it for a bit but we have decided not to put our names forward. I don’t think all the fans knew what situation we were in, off the field.

“There were times this season when we’ve played teams who have three-four times our budget and there’s still a thought that Worksop Town should be beating these clubs.

“It’s not the case, unfortunately. The club has got to take a step back now and rebuild off the field before anything can go ahead on the field.”

He added: “A lot of the fans have been brilliant. There has only been a small section. It’s not so much the ones behind you, sometimes you have to assess those who don’t want you in the job.

“People have come up to us and said they hope we change our minds, so there is support there, but we believe it’s time for a fresh start. The majority of fans have been behind us and we can’t thank them enough for their support.

“We’d like to thank all the players that have come in and up through the youth team. The ones that have done have played for free.”

Worksop won just one of their last 10 games in a disappointing end to the season, a run which brought two draws and seven defeats, ending with a 2-0 home loss to Thackley on Saturday.

Kennedy, at 36, believes he still has two years ahead of him in goal and wants to remain a Tigers player next season - but said that decision will ultimately be in the hands of the new manager.

“If whoever takes on the club wants me to stay I’ll be here next season,” he said. “I don’t really want to leave so that’s something to sort out when the manager situation is sorted.

And added: “I don’t think overall we did that bad. Teams sometimes have losing runs and winning runs. It probably all got a bit too much for the younger lads as the season went on.

“It’s been a tough season all round but as long as the lads go away thinking about their game and the season that’s been, it will make them all the stronger for it.”