Curzon Begin Season With Heavy Defeat – But CEO Natalie Atkinson Has Big Ambitions For The Club
Monday 8th August 2016 @ 11:37 by Mark Phillip
Ashton Football Sports

Curzon Ashton began their second season in the National League North with a disappointing 6-1 defeat to Kidderminster Harriers on Saturday.

The loss leaves the Nash sitting bottom of the table ahead of their league clash at Bradford Park Avenue on Wednesday.

Despite the disappointment, CEO Natalie Atkinson (Pictured) believes that a bright future awaits the club.

Speaking ahead of kick-off on Saturday, Atkinson outlined her vision for the club to a number of councillors, dignitaries and guests.

Curzon Ashton's  walking football team: The Nash Amblers

Curzon Ashton’s walking football team: The Nash Amblers

Emphasising the importance the local community will play in helping Curzon achieve their aim, Atkinson said: “To achieve our aim, we will improve our media presence and promote the local community.

“We aim to be the go-to club for all local schools and teacher development programs.

“Curzon is on a new journey, a new era.”

Atkinson alludes to an ambitious journey – dubbed five-point, five-year vision – which involves reaching the Football League within that period.

An in-depth article with Atkinson, which describes the vision in more detail, can be found at the following link:

Manager John Flanagan said it was ‘very difficult to condense the loss into a few sentences’ during his post-match interview.

Flanagan will undoubtedly be hoping for a much improved performance at the Horsfall Stadium on Wednesday.

Reflecting on the loss to Kidderminster – who remain full-time despite being relegated from the National League last season – Flanagan said: “It’s difficult because we knew that they’d likely be a good side.

“We also knew that we had a nice pitch and they’re a good footballing team.

“To be quite honest, they were better at popping it around us than we were around them – that’s the truth of the matter.

“We were not at the races, but we have to give them some credit because they were a very good side.

“I don’t think we came across a side as good as them last year, even considering the teams that went up such as Sutton United from National League South.”

“They (Kidderminster) are a young side who are physically strong and quick.

“They had a lot of good strengths, but we were shocking and got blown away by their attacking play and we just couldn’t deal with it.”

Asked if the result proves what Curzon are up against this season, Flanagan said: “No not really. I think today was an unusual situation.

“We’re very resolute here at Curzon and we don’t suddenly roll over and think it’s the end of the world because a team beats us.

“It’s irrelevant at the end of the day -what matters is how we respond going into the game on Wednesday.

“We’re very good at turning a bad situation into a good one, and we certainly won’t rest on our laurels, that’s for sure.”

Flanagan insisted that his side will have to ‘roll their sleeves up’ if they’re to get a result at Bradford on Wednesday. He added: “You’re going to get bad results in a season, so we’ve got to see some character and determination, starting with me, Nev, Chris, Jack and everyone behind the scenes.

“We have to pull together and make sure that everyone in the changing room understands what is acceptable and what is not.

“We’re going to have to dig deeper, because if we don’t we’re going to struggle.”