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Manager says Wisbech St Mary are the 'cat with nine lives'

Wisbech St Mary manager Stuart Beckett has compared his team to "a cat with nine lives" after they were handed a second relegation reprieve.

Beckett's Saints were bottom of the Eastern Counties League Division One North and six points from safety when the FA curtailed all football at Steps 3-7 of the non-league pyramid. The decision is yet to be ratified by the FA Council, but this is a formality.

Beckett told the Citizen: "It's the only decision the FA could have made. Some teams have only played ten games, so it would have been impossible to fit all the remaining games in.

Wisbech St Mary v AFC Sudbury reserves..Wisbech St Mary manager Stuart Beckett. (42328767)
Wisbech St Mary v AFC Sudbury reserves..Wisbech St Mary manager Stuart Beckett. (42328767)

"We cannot hide from the fact that we have been lucky for two seasons now (the Saints were bottom of the table when the 2019/20 season was declared null and void last March) but it is what it is. We are like a cat with nine lives."

Club stalwart Beckett, who will stay on for the 2021/22 season with assistant Johnny Alflatt, added: "I was new to management last year but I have some experience now. I thought we had enough to compete last year but we were short – next season we should be ready for a better campaign."

The Saints boss said there will be some training get-togethers in April and May and maybe some friendlies, and he also thought some first team players may turn out for the reserves if, as expected, the Cambridgeshire County League decide to continue until the end of June.

"Some of the lads may turn out on a rotation basis – we'll just have to see where we are when and if that league starts again," he added.

  • The Saints have been awarded £7,500 after successfully applying to the Football Association's Winter Survival Package. The money will go toward ground maintenance.

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