Rangers miss out despite unbeaten season
Southampton Rangers made history for all the wrong reasons after failing to secure promotion despite going unbeaten throughout the entire 2017-18 First Division campaign.
A string of draws took a heavy toll on Jomar Wilkinson’s team who lost out after their tenants, Paget Lions, secured the remaining promotion spot up for grabs on the final day of the season.
“I think we are on the wrong side of history and I have never heard of a team being undefeated and not getting promoted,” Wilkinson said. “We just drew too many games early in the season.
“But it is a lesson to be learnt and I’m sure we are going to grow from it and are going to be a better team next season.
“We are definitely looking to keep the group together and grow from this and maybe add new additions to our squad to keep the guys on their toes and competing for spots so they can stay sharp. We are looking to go from strength to strength.”
Wilkinson admitted failing to secure promotion was a bitter pill to swallow.
“A little disappointed that we didn’t get the promotion spot again,” he said. “But it has been a season of growth and we are definitely proud of what we have done this season.”
Wilkinson took over coaching duties at Rangers last summer after he was sacked by Premier Division Dandy Town in January 2017.
In his first season at Southampton Oval he guided Rangers to the First Division Shield title and the FA Cup final, where they will meet Premier Division side Robin Hood at the National Stadium on Sunday.
“As a coach I am very appreciative of my players,” Wilkinson added. “I inherited an honest group of players that put the work in this season. These guys did a hell of a job this season.
“My coaching staff did a wonderful job also, but without the players giving me their trust I cannot do my job and I appreciate the trust they instil in me.
“I tell them all the time I appreciate them and I honestly do because I come from a situation not too long ago when things weren’t going well [at Dandy Town].
“To come into Rangers and have a situation where the fans and administration are behind you and the players are giving you what you want has been a blessing to me as a coach.”
Rangers ended their unblemished league campaign with an impressive come-from-behind 4-2 triumph over champions BAA at Goose Gosling Field yesterday.
“Unfortunate we didn’t get promoted but I thought the boys done a wonderful job today,” Wilkinson said. “They showed a lot of determination and a lot of guts and pride for the blue shirt.”
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