Newark Town manager Damo Parkinson targets promotion to step-six
The revival of Newark Town Football Club since Damo Parkinson’s arrival as manager was nothing short of superb, and in that time, The Blues, who were buried at the foot of the table, moved up six places to ninth — their second highest possible finish at the point of the takeover.
Parkinson puts the turnaround down to hard work and staying focused defensively, and with that as a foundation, he said winning the league is the expectation next season.
“When we took over we highlighted how many goals we had conceded,” Parkinson said.
“We had conceded 79 goals before we came in and in our final game of the season, we kept our seventh clean sheet in 12 games.
“We brought in new faces but there’s still lads who were originally there and we gave them chances.
“Every single game we have told them to be disciplined, to work hard, to do as I say and follow what we have asked of them.
“It’s not been pretty at times, it’s been direct, but when I took over I said I want to finish eighth, and if we won every single game we would have.
“I’m disappointed we have finished ninth.”
Parkinson has targeted the Central Midlands Football League North Division, and a league win would see Town follow in Newark Flowserve’s footsteps, who earned promotion to step-six in the 2017-18 season.
“Everyone laughed at me and said we wouldn’t get anywhere near eighth, but with a core group of Newark players we have put ourselves in good shape to go and win the league next season,” he said.
“We can do it — 100%. There are some big clubs coming in with massive budgets, but I’m not bothered.
“We competed with Retford, who had the ball in the corner against us with ten minutes to go.
“We competed with Clay Cross for 70 minutes before the legs went — we competed with those sort of teams without having a preseason.”
Parkinson also highlighted how a return to Newark could benefit the side.
“There will be pressure on us to win games in Newark,” he said.
“If we want to do what they have done [Flowserve] we need to play good football and win games.
“If we do, people will come and watch and that’s why they get great numbers because they score goals and win games.”