Cup fi­nal de­feat takes shine off Leese’s ex­ten­sion

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - SPORT -

ANDY Leese ad­mits it has been a week of high and lows af­ter fi­nally get­ting his fu­ture at Che­sham United sorted – but los­ing the Berks & Bucks Senior Cup fi­nal, writes Tim Street.

The Che­sham United man­ager has been ask­ing his board for months to de­cide ei­ther way on his po­si­tion amid ru­mours they might be look­ing to re­place him.

Leese feared that, whether he stayed or went, the uncertainty would af­fect his, or his suc­ces­sor’s, abil­ity to keep the squad to­gether and add enough qual­ity to mount a pro­mo­tion chal­lenge.

The news he was wait­ing for fi­nally ar­rived last Fri­day with the an­nounce­ment that he and as­sis­tant Jon Meakes would once again take the reins next sea­son.

Leese said: “There was no show­down. I had a meet­ing with the chair­man, we had a frank ex­change of views like we al­ways do and I said I wanted cer­tain things clar­i­fied quicker than they were.

“Cer­tain things need to be kept pri­vate of course, but the chair­man has said he needs help and I will be more hands on. Now we need to get some peo­ple who have per­haps drifted away back on­side.

“We’re not here for a blame cul­ture or to fin­ger point, but you’re ei­ther on board or you’re not, and things could have been han­dled bet­ter.

“A lot of peo­ple at the club rely on sta­bil­ity. We need a clear agenda and will be sit­ting down this week to work it out. On the pitch, hope­fully the cer­tainty will keep this team to­gether, and we’ve got our own very clear tar­gets, sub­ject to the play­ing bud­get be­ing agreed.”

How­ever, the joy was tem­pered three days later when Che­sham went down 1-0 to Ayles­bury in the county cup fi­nal, former Gen­er­als de­fender Danny Gor­don head­ing the win­ner.

Leese added: “We never re­ally got go­ing and couldn’t get our­selves up for it, which is frus­trat­ing as we played so well in the last few league games. That’s been the story of our sea­son though – we haven’t been able to per­form to the level we know we can con­sis­tently.”

Andy Leese (left) and Jon Meakes

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