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Thatcham Town manager Jamie Leacock has eyes set on new challenges as Southern League season ends




The Kingfishers won't be able to finish their league campaign

THATCHAM Town manager Jamie Leacock has admitted that his time at the club has been a learning curve, despite not being able to finish the league season.

It was announced last week that the non-league season at Steps 3-6 is to be curtailed with immediate effect.

The results of a survey showed that more than 76 per cent of all clubs across Steps 3-6 indicated a preference to curtail the 2020-21 league season if it could not be restarted with limited spectator numbers and hospitality before April 1.

Although Leacock was expecting the Southern League Division 1 South season to end, he still admitted that it was a shock when the decision was announced.

He said: “It was inevitable, but it’s a strange one because even though we all expected it, reading about it in black and white shocks you.

“Now it is over, it finally hits home because we only played eight league games and we weren’t even a quarter way through the season.

“We started late, we had a hiccup with the break and then it’s finished with us playing just eight league games even though it feels like more.”

The Kingfishers, have not played a match since November 3.

“It’s frustrating,” Leacock said, “but I have become a bit pragmatic about it all because it’s the way the world is at the minute and we just have to accept it.

“Our last game was in November and we were able to train before Christmas when there was a slight chance of going again, but that was cut short.

“It’s looking better for next year and hopefully we can go back with some normality.”

Leacock took over from Danny Robinson as manager last summer, but was unable to take charge of his first full-season at the Stacatruc Stadium.

Despite this, the manager explained how he’s learned in his role and is excited at the challenges for next season.

He said: “The management staff and I keep in touch every week and we’re talking about what we learnt and what we can do better.

“The positives for them is that it’s been the best practice period we’ll ever get because we have been able to learn a lot.

“When we go back in July, for the new season in August, it is day one again so that will work well for us.”

Meanwhile, Tadley Calleva manager Adam Clark explained what will happen with his side as they have also stopped playing.

He said: “The [Wessex League] are exploring a cup competition and there was a meeting at the Hampshire FA earlier this week.

“We have explored the possibilities of friendlies, so if this competition is a knockout or it didn’t go on for long, then we’d try and do something throughout April and May before the lads can get a break.”

Clark is also hoping the new season, scheduled for August, will be able to welcome fans back into Barlows Park.

He said: “Hopefully we can get back to normal and although we don’t get large crowds, we need the fans at Tadley because it’s a big part having them in the ground and the bar after the games.”



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