Cup final defeat takes shine off Leese’s extension
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