MacFarland reflects on tough first ECFC season

Paul MacFarland has overseen a first season full of ups and downs for Eastwood Community FC but is hopeful more progress will be made next season.

Paul MacFarland has overseen a first season full of ups and downs for Eastwood Community FC but is hopeful more progress will be made next season.

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Eastwood Community FC boss Paul MacFarland has reflected on a topsy-turvy first season for the club and says he hopes more progress can be made in the next campaign.

‘Wood competed in their first ever season in the Central Midlands League South having moved into Coronation Park after Eastwood Town FC’s demise, and after a few months of personnel changes on and off the pitch, a settled squad finally began to pick up points in the second-half of the season.

And MacFarland admits the end of the campaign brought some relief.

He said: “It’s been a very tiring season with lots of highs and lows.

“The first half of the season was very difficult as it was hard to sell the club to players after such a bad start. We were constantly changing the team formation to suit the players that we had. We also kept changing the players themselves as we looked for the right characters.

“The turning point came after the heavy defeat away at Clifton - it was change it all again or leave. I’ve never been a quitter but I was close, there just didn’t seem to be any light at the end of the tunnel.

“Both John Adams and I knew that we needed more help and more players so we swooped and brought Darren Price on board and also added young coach Paul Rockley and Graham Harrison. With a great young physio in Harriet Francis, the team was complete.”

A win against title challengers Bulwell set the season alight, and as form continued to pick up, attendances also remained steady.

MacFarland added: “Our first ever league win against Bulwell was definitely the first highlight, while reaching the Floodlit Cup southern final was also a great achievement.

“Our attendances have been fantastic, both home and away, and they’ve been growing throughout the season. I’m sure if we can get the good start we need next season they will get even bigger.

“I feel we need to give all the lads who finished the season here another crack of the whip.

“I’m sure there will be some coming and going. We are now attracting the players that at first seemed reluctant to commit, which is good. However, they have to be made of the right stuff with the right attitudes and the right level of commitment as we must aim to do much better next season.”