GARETH: TIME TO HANG UP BOOTS

...but only on a Sun­day

The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By Sam El­liott

GARETH AINSWORTH has of­fi­cially re­tired…but only from Sun­day League foot­ball!

The Wy­combe Wan­der­ers man­ager was still reg­is­tered as a player with the League Two club last sea­son as the Chair­boys op­er­ated with just a first team.

The 44-year-old named him­self on the bench a cou­ple of time,s but he was a reg­u­lar starter else­where at the week­end.

Ainsworth is set to sign on again for the EFL League Two club but has yet to as­sign him­self a squad num­ber. He says he could hold back un­til he’s ac­tu­ally needed.

He may want to for his own sake as he’s de­cided to bring down the cur­tain on his Brack­nell Sun­day League Premier Di­vi­sion ca­reer in the past few weeks.

The former QPR and Wim­ble­don fans’ favourite stresses that his Fin­champ­stead Ath­letic re­tire­ment has noth­ing to do with his age, but fam­ily pres­sure has fi­nally got the bet­ter of him.

“I prob­a­bly will reg­is­ter [with Wy­combe], but I won’t give my­self a num­ber un­til I need to. I want to come away from that if I can,” he said.

“I’m sadly go­ing to an­nounce my re­tire­ment from Sun­day league. I un­der­stand that the mis­sus and the kids are grow­ing up and they need me around on a Sun­day – and this job is chaos!

“I will miss it, but I’m sure the boys will sub­sti­tute me with some­one else.

“I’ll also miss not be­ing in the squad on the back of the Wy­combe pro­gramme but you never know what’s go­ing to hap­pen. We’ll see.”

Bud­gets

Ainsworth has made just two sign­ings this sum­mer. De­fender Adam El-Abd, be­low

right, joined from Shrews­bury Town and he has per­suaded Nathan Tyson, inset left, to re­turn to Adams Park more than a decade af­ter his pre­vi­ous spell.

But it isn’t just be­cause of a lack of funds. He was happy with what he saw at the end of last term. “I don’t want to go on about bud­gets this sea­son,” he said.

“We haven’t got the worst. We have in the past, but we’re not the worst pay­ers now.

“But ours isn’t the big­gest. There are teams that have added lots of play­ers, your Lu­tons, your Mans­fields and your (Notts) County. They are go­ing to be fly­ing, but they’ve put them­selves un­der pres­sure.

“We want to lose the underdog tag.

“We are now a solid out­fit who can com­pete in this league with any­body. “If we keep the ma­jor­ity of the squad fit, then I think we’ve got a great chance this year. “If we do get the rub of the green with in­juries, then I know there aren’t go­ing to be many teams who will get the bet­ter of us if I can put out our best squad week in, week out.” Ainsworth added: “Adam and Nathan have played at a very high level. Both are in their 30s but bring fan­tas­tic ex­pe­ri­ence.”

SIT­TING IT OUT: Gareth Ainsworth will be spend­ing Sun­days with the fam­ily

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