Poppies’ season has met with club’s expectations so far

Kettering Town chairman Ritchie Jeune says Marcus Law and the players have met the club's expectations for this season so far
Kettering Town chairman Ritchie Jeune says Marcus Law and the players have met the club's expectations for this season so far

Ritchie Jeune feels Kettering Town’s season has “gone with expectation” so far.

The Poppies travel to Slough Town, who play at Beaconsfield SYCOB’s Holloways Park, this weekend sitting in ninth place in the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division but just two points off the play-off positions.

Last Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Bedworth United, secured by a late goal from Liam Canavan, maintained the Poppies’ impressive form of late which has seen them suffer just one defeat in the last nine matches.

Chairman Jeune insists the club are not facing a “defining moment” as far as earning promotion is concerned.

And, should they not achieve that this time, he feels the main aim is to ensure the squad is ready for a full-on challenge next season.

“I would say the season has gone with the expectation, it’s pretty much where we wanted it,” Jeune said.

“The teams most would have expected to be up there are and when you look at the likes of Poole Town and Weymouth, they have not changed their squads around too much.

“We need to get into that same mindset to build a squad that will allow us to move forward.

“We are not going to reject getting in the play-offs and being promoted this season, of course. But it’s not a defining moment for the club.

“The important thing is making sure we go into the summer with a clear idea of where we are so that we can push on next season.”

Kettering rewarded the up-and-coming Canavan with a contract at the turn of the year while Liam Bateman signed on a non-contract basis after being released by Aston Villa from where he had been on loan at Latimer Park.

One other bit of transfer business that could yet be confirmed is the future of Rene Howe who agreed a deal until this month after making a shock return to the club towards the end of November.

Jeune confirmed the club are “talking” with the frontman about his situation and added: “As far as Rene is concerned, it’s really down to him.

“He was clear with what he was trying to achieve from Kettering which was to get match fit and get himself ready for a return to a higher division.

“He is enjoying his football but it is really up to him and where he sees himself.

“If he still feels he needs to do more then we will be very happy for him to stay here.

“We are talking to him about the situation.

“But if someone asked whether we would want Rene to stay if the opportunity arose then the answer would be – absolutely.”