Tigers boss Shaw looks back with pride, but admits season was tinged with disappointment

Worksop Town manager Mark Shaw
Worksop Town manager Mark Shaw

Worksop Town manager Mark Shaw is already working hard on his 2015/16 season plans.

But before he closes the book completely on the campaign that saw Tigers finish second in the NCEL Premier, we asked him to take a look back at the season and give us his feelings and highlights.

Worksop Town FC v Shaw Lane Aquaforce

Worksop Town FC v Shaw Lane Aquaforce

It was Shaw’s second season in charge of the world’s fourth oldest club, and he led them to within four points of a league title.

He looks back with pride at the achievements of what was a remarkably young side, but admits the memories are tinged with disappointment having come so close to promotion.

This is how he summed it all up.

Worksop Guardian: “What is your overriding emotion when you look back at the season?”

Mark Shaw: “The overriding emotion from last season would be pride. Pride from start to finish. There’s been a sense of achievement that we didn’t set out with anything other than to have a football club.

“I can still remember that sunny day at Armthorpe, walking out behind the players feeling that we’d put a team out there to play a certain way, wondering what might happen.

“The concensus as a group was to try and win more games than we lost, playing with a different philosophy and that eventually snowballed into what can we go and achieve. Our goals were stretching all the time.

“Off the field we were looking at how we expand our football club and how we make it financially sustainable, and on the field we were getting closer and closer to being part of a title race and at one stage inching closer and closer to Wembley.

“Those two things were massive.

“And by the end of the season you have a feeling of disappointment, from not being quite good enough to win it. As much as people talk about budgets and experience, to be that close and not really be close at all is a bit disappointing.”

WG: “If you look at the 1-1 draw at Cleethorpes and the 2-1 defeat at Shaw Lane, you could say Worksop came within two goals of a league title. How do you see it?”

MS: “I look at the defeats we’ve had, rather than the goals.

“When it boils down to it, I look at dropping points at home and away to Garforth.

“Those games were crushing. We started the year with a defeat, which was a disappointment. To get a 1-0 lead at home to Garforth, and for them to score with three minutes to go was devastating.

“We probably lost it when we should have hung on to beat Tadcaster, leading Bridlington 1-0 and getting beat 2-1. There were a lot of times when we should have won and we drew.

“We were a team that developed throughout the season. A lot of teams were built at the beginning.

“Even though we were disappointing at home to Barton and Handsworth, we should have won those games.

“We weren’t fully prepared for a title race at the start of the season, and to be involved in it towards the end is near enough a miracle.

WG: “So what were the highlights?”

MS: “The first game of the season, when no one knew what to expect. We scored after 18 minutes, the football we played set our standards quite high.

“We’ve scored some fantastic goals, and we scored a lot for the second season running.

“There isn’t a club around over the last two seasons that will match what Worksop Town has done, goals wise.

“Performance wise, we played some fantastic football.

“At home to Retford United was our most outstanding team performance, I don’t think anyone expected such a one-sided Bassetlaw derby.

“At Barton recently we were brilliant.

“We’ve shown that you don’t have to whack it forward, you don’t have to have high profile players to be successful.”