Ramshaw expects Poppies to ‘be a force’ next term

Poppies boss Marcus Law and assistant-manager John Ramshaw are already planning for next season
Poppies boss Marcus Law and assistant-manager John Ramshaw are already planning for next season

John Ramshaw believes Kettering Town will “be a force” next season.

While the Poppies’ current campaign is petering out with any chance of reaching the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division play-offs now pretty much extinguished, there has been a flurry of activity off the field over the past week.

Ritchie Jeune has announced his intention to stand down as chairman at the end of the season but will stay as the club’s sole owner as well as keeping his place on the board and football committee at Latimer Park.

Club director David Mahoney is set to take up the chairmanship for at least the next two seasons and, in a statement over the weekend, insisted promotion will again be the target for the next campaign.

In announcing his decision, Jeune reaffirmed his full backing for boss Marcus Law who has come under pressure from sections of the Poppies support after their failure to challenge for the play-offs.

Law and his coaching staff are set to be tasked with making moves over the summer to build a squad capable of challenging at the top end of the table.

And assistant-manager Ramshaw insists they know what they want to make that happen.

“It’s always nice to get that sort of support from boardroom level,” Ramshaw said.

“I think we know what we want next season and we will definitely be a force. If you want a prediction, I think we will be up there amongst it.

“As I have said numerous times, traditionally the second season after promotion is usually worse than the first one.

“But that’s when you put your house in order, you sort out who you want to keep and who you want to let go and that will be done over the summer.

“Certain people will be replaced and hopefully we will have a good tilt at it next season.”

Kettering defender James Haran, meanwhile, is facing a further spell on the sidelines after suffering more injury misfortune in midweek.

The centre-half only returned after a long lay-off with a groin injury during last weekend’s 1-1 draw with St Ives Town at Latimer Park.

He started again in Tuesday’s 1-0 victory over Brackley Town in the semi-finals of the NFA Hillier Senior Cup but had to be helped off the pitch after a 50-50 challenge in the second half.

And Poppies assistant-manager John Ramshaw confirmed afterwards that Haran is believed to have suffered knee ligament damage.

“It’s a heartbreaker really for James,” Ramshaw said.

“He has worked hard to get fit, he got through 65 minutes on Saturday before his legs started seizing up after a long lay-off.

“It looks a bad one. The physio has done the checks on him and doesn’t think it is a tear but it’s certainly knee ligament damage so it is just a question of time now and how quickly we can get him right.”

The Poppies fielded a strong line-up for the county cup clash on Tuesday, although the likes of Aaron O’Connor, Lewis Hornby and Gary Mulligan were all missing.

Ramshaw added: “Aaron kicked the bottom of someone’s foot (against St Ives) so his foot is a bit swollen and sore.

“Lewis has an infected toe nail which is just a short term one and Mullers (Mulligan) is a knee problem so we just have to see how it goes.

“They will all report tonight (Thursday) to see the physio and we will take it from there.”