‘My initial thought was I was finished with football – now FA’s decision has given me extra hunger’ - Moneyfields ladies boss Karl Watson
Karl Watson now has an added hunger to deliver on his promise of taking Moneyfields Ladies to Women's National League level.
The Moneys' manager bemoaned the 'gut-wrenching' FA verdict that meant his side and others at grassroots level missed out on promotion this season.
Watson was so aggrieved he was willing to walk away from the sport altogether.
However, he has reassessed his options and is planning to use the decision to null and void the season as an added motivation in the 2020/21 campaign.
Moneys had won all 10 Southern Region Premier Division matches this campaign as they were on course for a third successive promotion since forming.
Though they were second in the table behind AFC Bournemouth when they league was first suspended, they were level on points with the Cherries and had a game in hand.
Now, after having a potential move up to National League Division 1 south east snatched away from them, Watson is even more hungry to get to that level.
‘I’ll be perfectly honest, it’s an absolute gut-wrencher,' he confessed.
'For us, we had a three-year project of achieving three promotions in as many seasons to get to National League level which is where I believe we belong.
'In terms of going forward, my original thoughts were I was finished with football.
‘I didn’t think I could do it anymore.
‘The amount of years I’ve been doing it and seen crazy decisions by the FA.
‘Initially, that was me done.
‘But one of my players, the captain, put a montage together to music and played it to us.
‘I’d woken up that morning and thought, ‘they won’t beat me, we will still achieve our goals.’
‘I’ve got such an unbelievable group of players and people together.
'It’s got me more fired up after initially that I was done.
‘I will get this club to national level - that is what I’m going to do.'
Watson revealed businesses and sponsors have pumped a five-figure sum into the club in the three seasons since they formed.
But he believes the null and void verdict by the FA has 'disrespected' the grassroots game - and not for the first time.
Watson also questioned the timing of the decision with a government review on the current UK lockdown amid the coronavirus outbreak to come in a few weeks' time.
‘There were two different options that the FA had,' he added.
‘It was either points-per-game, which would have meant they had some work to do to justify it and do all the maths, the easy option was to null and void.
‘That was the nice easy choice.
‘If I told you that to get Moneyfields Ladies to where it is this season alone has cost somewhere in the region of £10,000 to £12,000.
‘That’s what I’ve been kindly donated by local businesses.
‘It’s all to no avail.
'The timing of it was bizarre.
‘We were only told by the government a couple of days before that we were going to be on three weeks lockdown and (then) it was going to be reassessed.
‘While we’re on a three-week lockdown, wallop - they (the FA) made a decision.
‘It was almost like they couldn’t wait to get it done.'