Brackley boss Wilkin looks to the positives

Brackley Town manager Kevin Wilkin. Picture by Kirsty EdmondsBrackley Town manager Kevin Wilkin. Picture by Kirsty Edmonds
Brackley Town manager Kevin Wilkin. Picture by Kirsty Edmonds
Brackley Town are coming to terms with another disappointment in the National League North play-offs

While the pain of losing a big game is always great, a good dose of reality is never too far away.

And while Brackley Town boss Kevin Wilkin admitted he and his players were feeling “sore” after their National League North play-off eliminator loss to Gateshead, the manager was quick to point out the positives.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The match was played in unusual circumstances at St James Park.

A lot of work was done by Brackley to ensure the venue was Covid-19 secure while temperature checks were done on the way in for all those who were allowed to attend.

There was an eeriness to the atmosphere as Brackley and Gateshead battled it out for a chance to travel to Boston United for the semi-final this weekend.

In the end, it was Gateshead who prevailed after a penalty shoot-out following a 1-1 draw over 90 minutes.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

For Brackley, it was a third season in a row of missing out in the play-offs and the second time in the space of a year where they had been knocked out on penalties.

But Wilkin is in no doubt that he and his players will bounce back.

“We are all quite sore,” he said.

“We spoke in the dressing-room afterwards and one or two of the players spoke. You are sore after losing a game of football and we put a lot of time and effort into it.

“But you can always bring some sort of reality to it. We lost a game of football but I think everyone’s families are still healthy and that’s the most important thing.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“In times when you’re feeling a bit hard done by, it’s worth bringing a bit of reality back and remembering how lucky we are and how lucky we were to be able to get out there and have the opportunity again.

“It didn’t happen for us but I can’t ask for a lot more from the players. We love competing.

“They are great blokes, I have good people all around me and we will go again.”

The Brackley squad are set for a period of rest before the work starts again to prepare for next season.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The 2020-21 National League North campaign looks set to get under way some time after September 5 while pre-season friendlies can be played from August 1 onwards.

And Wilkin added: “Maybe a way of getting over it is to get your teeth straight back into it.

“There is no use in dwelling on it but I will reflect on it and look at what we might have done better, although I felt we covered most bases.

“You have to get your teeth back into it so I will be back on the phone and starting to prepare for the next season.”

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.