Non-league: Sullivan steadfast despite 10-man Christchurch crumbling at Sholing

MANAGER: Michael Cuffie

MANAGER: Michael Cuffie

First published in Sport by

FIRST-TEAM assistant Bob Sullivan has vowed to resolve Christchurch's failure to field a full side in consecutive Wessex League maulings - should he get the chance.

For the second time in six days, Priory started with just 10 players and promptly suffered an 8-0 thrashing in their season finale at champions Sholing, a defeat which came hot on the heels of last Saturday's 12-0 embarrassment at Newport (IOW).

Having stood in for manager Michael Cuffie, who was unavailable due to a pre-arranged personal commitment, Sullivan was hit with a list of five suspensions, while many of the club's youngsters were representing Brockenhurst College in a cup final at the National Football Centre.

Despite a dismal end to the campaign, Cuffie's right-hand man insisted the duo were keen to stay on but chairman Mark Duffy, while remaining supportive of the bosses, would not be drawn on their positions next season.

Priory's stand-in boss told the Daily Echo: “People will criticise us and rightly so, you get what you deserve if you turn up with 10 men and we have to take it on the chin.

“It is a shame because it takes the shine of what has been a good season. A few things need to be sorted out and we will sit down with the club's other managers and committee over the summer.

“You need players around that are prepared to help you out. Some lads are quite happy playing with their mates but it is important for the first team to have good support.

“It won't happen again and that's the most important thing now. We have to make sure that the first team travels with a minimum of 14 players from next season.

“We have made mistakes which we must learn from but you have to start somewhere and we have finished in the same position as Graham Kemp did during his first season with the club.”

On the prospect of staying on, Sullivan said: “That would not be our decision but we both want to be there. We feel like we are at the start of something and would like the chance to carry on.”

Duffy said: “At the end of the season we will sit down as a club and everyone involved with each of our teams can have their say.

“There is an awful lot to discuss and a lot of things need to be said behind closed doors but I would be disappointed if Michael and Bob didn't want to carry on next year.”

Priory: Field, Homan, Donachy, Taylor, Sullivan, Goulding, Fairbrother, Mead, Rollinson, Saul.

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