BANBRIDGE Town need to take a look at themselves both on and off the park.
That’s according to both the club’s manager, Ronnie Haughey, and their Chairman, Andrew Cully.
The Town had been battling relegation all season but their fate was finally sealed following at 1-1 draw with Tobermore United.
From early on in the Championship 1 campaign it was evident that the Crystal Park men were going to face an uphill battle, suffering drubbings at the hands of Limavady United (9-0), Dergview (5-1) and eventual champions Ballinamallard United (7-2).
And despite fighting in the latter stages of the season, getting a bit of revenge by beating Dergview 2-1, it was all too little, too late.
Haughey says the Town want to win their last three games of the season but admits attention must now turn to next season.
“The club needs to take a look at their whole infrastructure. Off the field the social end of things has improved, people are hanging about the club after games and despite what we’ve been through they have still stuck by us.
“But there are other things that need to be looked at off the pitch. We’re the only club in the Championship that doesn’t have floodlights, for example.
“That’s not to take away from the work that Andy (Cully) and Stevie (Radcliffe, the club’s vice-Chairman) do about the place. Players come to Crystal Park and are impressed by the way they’re treated – all they have to do is bring their boots and everything else is there for them.”
That sentiment was shared by the club’s chairman, who agreed that the events of this season could serve as the wake-up call they needed.
“To have a good team on the park you have to have a good team off the park,” he said. “Work towards that has to start now – there’s no point in waiting until June or July.
“The whole club needs to take a look at the structures in place and decide what we need to do to move on from here.
“We have said before on occasions that the club needs investment and right now we need it more than ever. We also need to accept that this coming season may be one where be one where we consolidate our position before we make any moves up the divisions.”
Mr Cully once again praised his manager for his efforts this season.
“I think everyone recognises that Ronnie has had an incredibly tough job this season in just getting a squad in place. He’s kept things going and we’re very thankful for that.
“Banbridge Town will bounce back from this, make no mistake. We may be starting from scratch but now we must refocus.”
On the pitch Haughey believes that due to the club’s financial situation they need to look for local players to drive them forward.
“First and foremost we need to try and get players on board within the constraints set for us,” he said.
“Most of those players will have to be players from within our catchment area and players who want to play for Banbridge Town.”
Town play Limavady United at home on Saturday, kick off 3pm, before having a break until April 21 for their penultimate game against Larne. They round off the season away to Glebe Rangers on April 28.
THE RESULTS WHICH SAW THE TOWN RELEGATED:
06/08/11 - Larne 1-1 Banbridge Town
13/08/11 - Banbridge Town 1-3 Tobermore United
20/08/11 - Limavady United 9-0 Banbridge Town
03/09/11 - Banbridge Town 2-3 Ards
17/09/11 - Dergview 5-1 Banbridge Town
24/09/11 - HW Welders 1-1 Banbridge Town
01/10/11 - Bangor 4-0 Banbridge Town
08/10/11 - Banbridge Town 2-7 Ballinamallard United
22/10/11 - Banbridge Town 3-2 Loughgall
29/10/11 - Institute 2-1 Banbridge Town
05/11/11 - Banbridge Town 3-0 Glebe Rangers
12/11/11 - Warrenpoint Town 3-0 Banbridge Town
19/11/11 - Banbridge Town 0-6 Newry City
17/12/11 - Banbridge Town 0-1 Institute
31/12/11 - Loughgall 2-0 Banbridge Town
21/01/12 - Banbridge Town 1-1 Warrenpoint Town
04/02/12 - Banbridge Town 3-4 Bangor
25/02/12 - Ards 2-0 Banbridge Town
03/03/12 - Ballinamallard United 5-1 Banbridge Town
10/03/12 - Banbridge Town 0-2 HW Welders
17/03/12 - Banbridge Town 2-1 Dergview
24/03/12 - Newry City 3-0 Banbridge Town
31/03/12 - Tobermore United1-1Banbridge Town