Business as usual at Felixstowe & Walton United as Watson becomes joint-manager with O’Donnell

Ian Watson

Ian Watson

Ian Watson says it will be business as usual at Felixstowe & Walton next season, the former Felixstowe Harpers boss having been appointed joint-manager, alongside Kevin O’Donnell.

Watson has worked as O’Donnell’s assistant for the past two seasons, the Seasiders having finished fourth and second in their last two Thurlow Nunn Premier Division campaigns.

Preparations are underway for the new season, especially off the pitch, with the new £528,000 club house set to be officially opened on July 8. On it, meanwhile, the club have signed ex-Leiston winger, Joe Francis, and are talking to other targets.

It’s proving to be a busy time at the Goldstar Ground, but Watson’s promotion is a seamless one.

He said: “Kevin and I work quite well together and towards the end of last season, we discussed what we wanted to do this season.

“Kevin wanted me to be joint-manager and I am sure everything will continue to run quite easily.

“I am not sure too much will change, it’s a title really, and the club has progressed so far in the last couple of years.

“Kev and I have worked together before and we never really disagree on anything.”

After missing out on the league by nine points to Mildenhall, the duo will plot a new title challenge, starting in August.

“We know it’s going to be tough next year with 46 league games to play and the likes of Histon and Wroxham coming down and teams with money like Coggeshall and Stowmarket coming up and others such as Brantham strengthening,” Watson explained.

“We want to bring in some new faces – we have managed to keep 99 per cent of last season’s squad – but we will be looking for quality.”

Whether the Seasiders manage to bring in their main targets remains to be seen, with Watson tipping several rival clubs to be working with bigger budgets.

“I’m sure there will be some budgets that wouldn’t be out of place in the Isthmian North or Premier next season and some players will be going to clubs and doubling their money,” he said.

“We have not lost anyone, we are still in negotiations with two or three of our players (from last season) who have had their heads turned by other clubs, but we know we are a fantastic football club with modern facilities that can grace the league above.”

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