Devastated Halesowen Town boss Paul Smith can’t comprehend how quickly a “special season” for his side has been ripped away while also blasting the FA for “rewarding failure.”
The season now ends with the Yeltz second in the Southern League Central Division One and two games away from an FA Trophy final at Wembley.
Smith, who took the reins last summer and rebuilt the team following relegation stood on the brink of an incredible season – and he admits it will take some getting over.
“If I mull over it too long it would eat me up,” Smith said. “I find it hard to take that a season over 75% completed now counts for nothing. The work my players, staff, board, owners and I have put in has been way over and above the levels expected. For that all to be for nothing is a hard pill to swallow.
“I believe in rewarding success, unfortunately this decision has rewarded failure and punished those like us that have had a very successful season thus far.
“We have had a magical season and if the FA Trophy gets cancelled too, you will go a long way to find another club that this situation has effected more than us.
“It had the makings of one of those special seasons that don’t come around very often, and right now it’s very close to it all being taken away.”
Fans are the backbone of any non-league team, something Smith is well aware of. He’s now urging fans of Halesowen to think of the good times and not wallow in how it has ended.
Smith continued: “I everyone at the club not to think what if, but to take enormous pride in what we have achieved this season, and how far the club has come in such a short space of time.
“The club was on its knees in the summer and with the hard work we have all put in we have some fantastic memories to take away.
“The club is in a fantastic place. I’m sure this is just the beginning of a very enjoyable and successful period for the club.”
This article was published in the Non-League Paper on Sunday 29 March 2020.