One of the biggest surprises on Saturday 29th April, in local football, was Chris King announcing that he was stepping down as Keynsham Town FC’s first team manager. Sean Day has also stepped down as First team Coach leaving a big void to fill.
The club has improved over the last three seasons under King’s management going from a 17th place finish at the end of his first season to finishing 4th this season in Western League Division One. The duo leave the club boasting a 47% win ratio with 55 wins from 116 league games, amassing 182 points from the 348 points on offer with draws included.
Their first match was against Oldlands in September 2014 and resulted in a 4-2 loss. The results improved over the season but only slightly better than the 7 points in 8 games achieved by Steve Cains. King managed to win 9 games of the 34 played, losing 17 and drawing 8 giving him a win ratio of just 26%.
It wasn’t an easy season with King coming off the bench himself whilst losing senior players such as Seb Spiller, Ryan Beak, Ben Stiff, Thomas Morgan, Luke Lipinski and Scott Brain during the season. Mainstay Aaron Marshall was injured for most of the season. These places needed to be filled and King called upon promising youngsters in Matt Curnock, Liam Robson and Kyle Box yet all three moved on at the end of the season to new clubs.
So the 2015/16 season represented King’s first chance to make the team his own. Ben Harris, Ashley Wintle and Jason Adams signed on again after joining the club in King’s debut season and continued to develop into key players for Keynsham. Pat Davison and Rob Sheriton also signed up for another long hard season, whilst Jordan Anstey and Aaron Childs opted to continue their football education with the Ks after having a taste of first team action.
Keynsham had a great home record as they stormed to 15 home wins but could only manage 5 wins on their travels. However with a 50% win ratio the K’s ended up in the dizzy heights of 9th at the end of the season. Davison ran Harris close to the golden boot with Nathan Curnock, Michael Preedy, Sam Duggan, Thomas Johnson, Thomas Harris and Kieran Adams all having solid debut seasons.
It was disappointing for this group of players to only finish 9th and they believed that there was more to come. The 2016/17 season was the most successful season since the club’s relegation in 2005. Keynsham finished 4th after leading the division for most of the campaign.
The team had a new way of playing with possession football being played out from the back which took some adapting to from the previous season. This caught a lot of teams out and the club even made the semi finals of the Somerset Premier Cup, knocking out Paulton Rovers on the way and running a strong Taunton Town side close.
Their away record improved with 11 away wins and 15 at home; a win ratio of 62%. The points tally was 82 compared with 66 points the season before. Matthew Brown was signed from Frys and contributed 29 goals to add some much needed fire power up front with Duggan and Harris hitting 12 goals each.
M Curnock and Box returned to the club and played well with the experience they had acquired when they had a year away from the club. Cameron Shorney played a vital role in his second season at first team level. Tauren Williams was another new young signing who managed 43 games at full back with most of the first team now on 50 plus appearances for the K’s. Wintle, J Adams and Harris all joined the 100 club and Anstey looks set to join them next season with Duggan and N Curnock if they stay with the team.
So King bows out to look after his young family with the foundations look good for any new manager coming in but all of this was achieved without paying the players. So the first task for the new management team will be to convince the core of the squad not to leave and to finish the job that King has started and get the club promoted back to Western Premier level where the club should be playing.