On near miss

Macclesfield Express - - SPORT -

avail­able at the club. He said: “Our sea­son ticket sales are set to com­fort­ably ex­ceed the num­ber that we reached last year and not only will this ben­e­fit our play­ing bud­get, but it is sure to give us the best pos­si­ble chance of con­tin­u­ing our for­mi­da­ble record at the Moss Rose as we seek to progress fur­ther next sea­son.”

Blower knows just how im­por­tant the fans of Macclesfield are to mo­ti­vat­ing the play­ers and driv­ing the club for­ward fi­nan­cially.

How­ever, a pri­or­ity on the agenda – and sure to be popular with sup­port­ers – is to keep hold of manager John Askey, who guided the Silk­men ag­o­nis­ingly close to the play­off po­si­tions.

Askey ded­i­cated his whole se­nior ca­reer to Macclesfield Town, scor­ing more than 100 goals in over 500 ap­pear­ances and his first steps in man­age­ment sug­gest he can main­tain his leg­endary rep­u­ta­tion among Macc fans.

Hav­ing a manager as close to the club as Askey pro­vides a sen­ti­men­tal con­nce­tion.

Dur­ing his play­ing ca­reer, Askey achieved pro­mo­tion from the con­fer­ence to Di­vi­sion Two with the Silk­men and the whole club will be hope­ful that the magic Askey pos­sessed in his play­ing days guiding them to pro­mo­tion can be tran­si­tioned into man­age­rial magic.

“The club has made great strides over the last 12 months and we want to keep that mo­men­tum. A cru­cial part of keep­ing our mo­men­tum go­ing in to next sea­son is re­tain­ing John as first-team manager,” Blower said.

“John has un­der­stand­ably been linked with a num­ber of other jobs, but I’m sure he feels the job is un­fin­ished at the Moss Rose and he has rightly been of­fered an en­hanced con­tract.”

To build on last sea­son’s sixth-place fin­ish, the Silk­men will not only have to hold onto Askey, but also their top tal­ent on the pitch, in­clud­ing last sea­son’s top goalscorer Waide Fairhurst and goal­keeper Rhys Tay­lor, who kept 18 clean sheets in 46 league games.

With play­ers’ con­tracts un­der dis­cus­sion at the Moss Rose, the ideal sce­nario is to main­tain the tal­ent that per­formed so well to­gether last sea­son ac­cu­mu­lat­ing 21 wins in the league and see­ing them fall short of just one point from fifth place For­est Green with the pos­si­bil­ity of some new ad­di­tions to the squad.

With lower bud­gets in foot­ball at this level, per­suad­ing play­ers to re­sign is cru­cial.

“To come so close to the play-offs and just miss out hurts,” said Blower. “The pri­or­ity now for the club is to keep as many of this group of play­ers to­gether as pos­si­ble and then go from there.”

The bond Macclesfield share be­tween the staff at the club, play­ers and also the fans, Blower stated that every­body had a role in mak­ing the 2014/15 cam­paign a mem­o­rable one and that brighter things are to arise from the am­bi­tious club.

He said: “We are all part of one team.

“From the own­ers, the vol­un­teers, the play­ers, to the sup­port­ers; each one has a big part to play in the suc­cess of Macclesfield Town.

“With the same ef­fort next sea­son, we can look for­ward to an­other suc­cess­ful cam­paign.”

As prepa­ra­tions are al­ready de­vel­op­ing for the new sea­son, Blower will be hop­ing to see his club back in the Foot­ball League this time next year and pro­vide an in­spi­ra­tional and pos­i­tive fu­ture for all at Macclesfield Town.

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