Chris Cummins has been a breath of fresh air for Kings Langley FC since joining in October 2019 and has admitted to KingsNews that he and the rest of the squad were quietly confident of squeezing into a play-off place until the coronavirus lockdown suspended, and eventually cancelled the BetVictor Southern Premier League.
Kings went on an unbeaten run since Boxing Day, meaning they had not lost a game in the whole of 2020.
The former Watford FC development coach came in after his predecessor Dean Barker resigned in September.
Cummins, who has also had spells coaching at Reading, Luton and Toronto, spoke about his feelings before the coronavirus put a halt to procedures.
He said: “We were just taking one game at a time to be honest, but the lads had a real belief that we could have pushed our way through to the play-off spots. That was obviously disappointing to not be able to see if we could manage it, but it bodes well for next season.
“We have definitely got a real chance of doing well next season, but once again we will take things one game at a time. We have managed to keep most of the squad together, so you never know what can happen.
“Most of the players who have signed on again for the upcoming season have had to take a pay-cut and fair play to them, but it does show that they believe what is happening here on and off the pitch, and they want to be a part of that.”
One of the players who have signed for a further is Watford legend Lloyd Doyley, who joined at the start of last season and played a massive part in the turnaround in form that the club saw in 2020.
Cummins added: “Doyley says it will be his last season every year. He was absolutely terrific for us during the run after Christmas, and he has done really well in mentoring the young lads as well along with Will Hoskins and Jordan Parkes.
“We have a real mix of experience and young talent in this team, and hopefully we can add a few new faces in before the start of the season to give us even more of a boost.”
37-year-old Doyley told the club after committing for an extra season that there is unfinished business after not losing a game during this calendar year.
He said: “I am delighted to have committed another season at Kings Langley. After finishing this season on a high of not losing a game in this calendar year and unfortunately for obvious reasons the season was cancelled.
“So, I would really like to continue to help the club.”
Jack Wood, Will Hoskins, Callum Adebiyi, Roddy Collins, Harry Crawford, Jordan Parkes and Kyle Connolly also signed contracts with the club in June ahead of what has the potential to be a memorable season for Kings Langley.
Photo courtesy of Kings Langley FC