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Barking boss Gardner says season being void is not fair for all the hard work put in

PUBLISHED: 16:50 06 April 2020 | UPDATED: 16:50 06 April 2020

Dara Dada of Barking during Barking vs South Park, BetVictor League South Central Division Football at Mayesbrook Park on 7th March 2020

Dara Dada of Barking during Barking vs South Park, BetVictor League South Central Division Football at Mayesbrook Park on 7th March 2020

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Barking manager Justin Gardner admits he doesn’t understand how players and managers can be asked to void a season they have put so much effort into.

Max Bradford of Barking during Barking vs South Park, BetVictor League South Central Division Football at Mayesbrook Park on 7th March 2020Max Bradford of Barking during Barking vs South Park, BetVictor League South Central Division Football at Mayesbrook Park on 7th March 2020

Step three to six of the National League system took the decision to expunge results and end the season with immediate effect due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But boss Gardner says it should have been resumed due to the hard work that has been put in for months on end.

“Let’s get our health and life back to normal, then continue the season, that’s very frustrating that we can’t do that,” Gardner said.

“I just don’t know how you can ask a manager or players. For me as a manager I don’t ever stop, for example the season they’re asking to be null and void I started from the first week of May as soon as the last season finished pretty much.

“I have a week or two off just to clear my head then I’m cracking back on, so you’re talking from May 2019 until the other day they’re asking me to null and void that.

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“I’ve gave up family time, seven days a week, I gave up personal time and time with my kids, I’ve had to work hard to build my team, and go out at silly times at night to meet players. We’ve travelled all over the country, so to be asked for all that to be forgotten about doesn’t sit right with me.”

The former Billericay Town boss also believes the season being made void plays into certain clubs’ favour when really everyone should have wanted to finish what they started.

“It’s disappointing as it’s played into some people’s favour to have the season null and void because some clubs could have been relegated or some were just playing out the season in mid-table and wasting resources,” he added.

“Maybe people might think this is crazy, but if we were down the bottom, and the season was finished this way, I would not be proud that we stayed up.

“I would want to show my ability and that I’m capable of keeping my team up.

“Whether that’s as a manager or a player, people at the bottom if they really care about football, should say health is more important but whenever the virus does clear I’m glad to see out the season.

“Why look forward to a new season, when if we don’t even know if that’s going to start in August anyway, instead of finishing a season that is 80 per cent played.”


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