Angry Jenner: Fight for the club or get out

Monday 13th March 2006
The chief executive of Ryman League Division One strugglers Ashford Town has warned players to “fight” to maintain the club’s league status, writes Stephen McCartney.

Mark Jenner saw the Homelands outfit escape relegation into the Kent League by just one solitary point last season but a run of four straight defeats has put the club in real danger again.

The two relegation places are currently filled by Corinthian Casuals (22 points) and Newport IOW (25), with Ashford languishing one place above the drop zone on 26, having won just six league games.

During this poor run, the club’s long suffering followers has seen their side endure two 5-0 defeats at the hands of Burgess Hill Town and Lymington & New Milton.

”We had a wake up call at Burgess Hill Town, well we didn’t hear it so Lymington & New Milton were able to come to the Homelands and inflict the worse home defeat in living memory,” Jenner said on

”No need for me to say that if we continue in this vein we needn’t be worrying about the proposed re-organisation of the leagues at this level next season because we will not be in it.

”So we have two choices now; either we can lay down and die or we can get right up and fight back.”

Jenner hinted the club’s reserve players should be thrown into the deep end, starting with their trip to promotion chasing Tooting & Mitcham United on Saturday.

He said: ”Certain players need to be dropped or told to find somewhere else to loafe about on a Saturday afternoon and others be given a chance to step forward and do better.  One thing is certain; doing nothing is not an option.”

What Jenner cannot put his finger on is Ashford are the tenth best supported club in the division, with an average crowd of 208 and clubs with less support can still field a winning team.

”Other teams exist in this league on resources just as slender as ours so we cannot use that as an excuse,” he said.

”Why should the groundsman spend his day preparing the pitch and all the others behind the scenes give up their spare time to work for the club if others are not prepared to make the same effort.

”In my professional life I always preach that it’s down to management to get things right otherwise the wheels are bound to fall off eventually.

”This is where supporters are needed more than ever to support the team in the hard time and not to abandon the club in its hour of need just when the going gets tough.”