Seaham Red Star manager Mark Collingwood offers honest assessment

Seaham Red Star manager Mark Collingwood has offered an honest assessment of the mistakes that he believes he made last summer.

Seaham Red Star manager Mark Collingwood
Seaham Red Star manager Mark Collingwood

The Town Park club were sat in fourteenth place in the Northern League Division One table when the Football Association took the decision to void the season as the severity of the coronavirus epidemic became evident.

Prior to the postponement of fixtures, a run of just one defeat in five league games that included wins against fellow strugglers Whickham and Thornaby and a derby triumph at Sunderland RCA eased Collingwood’s side away from the lower reaches of the table.

But overall, it has been a season of struggle for Red Star as they wrestled with an ever-increasing injury list that contained a number of key players.

Collingwood’s plans were disrupted before a competitive fixture had taken place when summer signing Jordan Fry was suffered a serious cruciate ligament injury that would rule him out of the entire campaign.

The likes of Anth Myers and Scott Young also suffered serious injuries throughout the season and there was further damage done when young forward Nathan Greenwood joined Sunderland’s Under-23 setup.

But Collingwood believes that a hectic pre-season schedule and a gruelling training plan had a severe impact on his players – and he revealed that he won’t make the same mistake again when it is safe for football to return.

He told The Echo: “We don’t think there is too much wrong with the squad, we just couldn’t get our full-strength side out.

“If it’s all fit, it could be a top six squad, and we haven’t done that on a high budget.

“We have a great dressing room and a great set of lads; it has been bad luck that we couldn’t get them out at the same time.

“We need to get things right this summer and the decisions on contracts were maybe a bit naïve.

“I got the schedule wrong; I got the friendlies wrong and I picked up too many injuries.

“We trained too hard and by the time we kicked a competitive ball, we had too many niggles.

“But I have learnt from that.”