Manager’s Update: Lee Lashenko on the latest club news

Despite the lack of football at The Creek, Manager Lee Lashenko believes that this is an extremely exciting time to be associated with Bristol Manor Farm FC. In our most recent interview, we caught up with Lee to hear about the latest news from inside the club.

“We’re appointing people left, right, and centre to help take this club to the next level,” Lee began.

“Myself and the rest of the staff are trying to keep on beating the drum of positivity in these extremely unfortunate times. Inside the doors, we’re working all the time to make Bristol Manor Farm Football Club a happier and more positive place when it’s safe for people to reconvene. 

“On the pitch, we’re trying to build on the momentum of the last few seasons. Our clear aim is to try and push on to the next division and we’re going to be working hammer and tongs to make that happen.” Lee added.

Earlier in the week, it was confirmed that forward Jamie Bird had left the club to join Barry Town United on a short-term deal until the end of the season. With the future of the Southern League in serious doubt, Lee hinted at the possibility of more players coming and going from now until the end of the season.

“I believe that we have a number of players that are attractive to clubs higher up the divisions; and if any of those clubs do give these players an opportunity – then I won’t stand in their way,” Lee said.

“The players need to stay competitive in terms of training and playing games, and that isn’t something that we can offer in this moment in time. If any of our players do get offers to play matches, then I think they should grasp it with open arms. 

“That being said, we don’t want to let all of our silver go – so we have to make sure we have a little bit of control over the situation. With every transfer, we always look to go about it correctly and professionally,” Lee explained.

“We’re looking at bringing in younger and hungrier players coming out of the western league who we feel can make the step up. 

“I expect there to be a hive of exciting transfer activity for the club, with players itching to get back out there and prove a point. Some of these players may be new to the level, and it’s long overdue that they are playing in the Southern League. 

“When football returns, I’m sure it will be like the night before Christmas for some of these players,” Lee laughed.

Over the past few weeks, concern has been growing around the National League regarding the future of the 2020/21 season. With opinions varying from many club’s across the Non-League pyramid, the difficult decision is yet to be made as to whether the season should continue or be concluded. Manager Lashenko believes that whatever the outcome, the decision has to be made for the right reasons. 

“All I want is the decisions to be made purely on football or safety,” Lee proclaimed.

“I don’t want clubs basing it on their selfish attitudes as to where they are in the table. Half of the teams near the bottom want the season to be cancelled, and the other half want it to continue. That to me isn’t sensible or football minded behaviour.

“Last year our season was interrupted, and again this season has also been interrupted – and rightly so for safety. But if there is a way of playing the season to completion, then I think all club should buy into that,” Lee added.

“If it can’t be, then it has to be because of safety reasons – and not for your own personal gain. 

“Whether that be trying to save yourself from relegation, or even being too stubborn in your approach just because you could gain promotion. All I want is sensible decisions to be made,” Lee expressed.

Much like the National League, the decision to complete or conclude the Southern League is also yet to be made. But despite the split opinions across the divisions, Lee believes that the biggest issue everyone faces is timescale. 

“There have been surveys that have gone out to every club, including ourselves, and I’m sure the results will show divided opinions. All I know is that this football club, regardless of what division we are playing in, we’ve always been itching to play football matches.

“The main problem that we all face is timescale. I’m far from a defeatist, and I would love the season to be played to completion – even if it meant three or four games a week. Saturday without football for me is like a waste of a day, but with the current situation we find ourselves in it probably isn’t going to happen.