NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Ely City boss Brady Stone upbeat despite heaviest defeat of the season

Ely City manager, Brady Stone.

Ely City manager, Brady Stone. - Credit: Archant

There aren’t many football managers that would be caught smiling after watching their side get hammered 5-0.

But Ely City boss Brady Stone has refused to let his side’s heavy defeat to Gorleston take the gloss off what has been a fine season for the Robins.

A 13th place Thurlow Nunn Premier Division finish, a spot in the final of the Invitation Cup and an excellent FA Vase run which saw the Robins reach the last 16 has meant it has been one of the finest campaigns in the club’s recent history, and Stone says his players should hold their heads high, despite suffering their heaviest defeat of the season on the final day.

“I’m delighted with how the season has gone,” he said.

“If you’d have offered me a 13th place finish, a place in the last 16 of the FA Vase and an Invitation Cup final place at the start of the season then I’d have taken it straight away.

“We had nine first team players out on Saturday and four of the ones we did have weren’t fully fit, and when you’re going to fourth in the league with only four first team players then it’s always going to be a tough afternoon.

“We did alright and it was good experience for some of the younger players like defender Carson Silvain.

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“It’s the only time this season where we’ve been thumped so we won’t dwell on it too much because we’ve had a fantastic season.”

It’s now back to the drawing board for Stone and his men, and the Ely boss says he has lined up a number of potential new recruits, as well as tying down the majority of his first team squad already.

He said: “Everything is looking good so far. We’ve got plans in place and we’re already talking to five or six players.

“We’d like to bring three or four in and 90 per cent of the lads who finished the season have said they’ll be back, which is good.

“Obviously if a team comes in with a bit of money or from a lot higher up then we won’t stay in anyone’s way but we want to keep the squad together.

“It’s great that we’ve had such a good season but it will count for nothing if we can’t continue it next season.”