Colin Telford has confessed that Dunmurry Rec's relegation to 1A of the Amateur League was a painful experience.
The Rec were condemned to the second tier of NAFL last Thursday night when they lost 4-3 to Kilmore Rec.
Telford said: “It hurts at the moment. I know it will take me a few days to get over it, but I'm sure my disappointment doesn't compare to the committee members and long serving players who have been at the club for years. I really feel for those guys.
“Dunmurry Rec are a big club in Amateur League terms and they should be in the Premier Division, and I see it as my job to get them back there.”
The Ashley Park club didn't go down without a fight. They claimed 22 points after Telford took over in October.
He said: “We've been relegated, but I can look back on the season and know that we put up a good fight.
“When took over we had one point from eight games, so everyone else basically had an eight game start on us. In the second half of the season we hit top half form but unfortunately the damage was done. I think if there were three of four more games we might have done it, but in the end we ran out of matches.
“On Tuesday night we beat Crumlin Star 5-3 and that gave us all a bit of belief. Unfortunately, that game took a lot out of us. We played Kilmore Rec two nights later and lost 4-3, despite being 2-0 up.
“I think we were tired. We'd picked up a few knocks against Crumlin Star and we just ran out of legs. We made a real battle of it, but it wasn't to be in the end. That's football. We can hold our heads high in relegation.”
Former Manchester United trainee Telford is already scheming for next season. He wants to return to the Premier Division at the first time of asking.
“The work starts now. We've a decent team but just because we finished the season well doesn't mean we have a divine right to win 1A. There are a number of strong sides in that divison like Downpatrick and Rathfriland. Paul Kirk's Lisburn Rangers are a good side, I can see them being a force next season.
“I will work hard over the summer and put together a squad that will be competitive in 1A. Our aim is to bounce back at the first attempt. I think the first six games will be key.”
Name: Dunmurry Rec
League: NAFL Premier Divison
Nicknames: The Rec
Ground: Ashley Park
Colours: Sky Blue
Gaffer: Colin Telford