Whitby Town defender Jameel Ible keen to kick on when action resumes
Jameel Ible has expressed his disappointment at the decision to end the Northern Premier League season early for the second consecutive season due to the effects of Covid-19 - but maintained his appreciation of the professionalism the squad has shown during these uncertain times.
Whitby Town have not played since the start of November, however it still took the Football Association (FA) three months to bring the NPL to a halt, just as was the case in the previous term.
The decision on the season has now been approved by the FA Council so no further fixtures will take place this season.
There will also be no promotion or relegation.
Defender Ible told The Whitby Gazette: “I was very disappointed as I feel like we were really starting to come together as a team.
“We had a lot of new players arrive last summer so it can take a while to get used to each other but we were doing that so it’s a shame that Covid unfortunately put a stop to things.”
He described his first few months at the club as “frustrating” given the circumstances, admitting that he “was hopeful of a good season.”
Like in all aspects of current life, the end of the season did come as a blow after all the hard work put into a safe return at non-league, but on the pitch defender Ible believed that the season could have been successful for the Seasiders, and he rued the missed opportunity to build on “a positive start.”
While the fractured nature of this season has been a source of frustration for Ible and the squad. he was quick to praise the club for their response to the situation, stating: “When the situation is like this there’s not a lot we can do, but I can’t fault the way all of the players, the staff, and everyone behind the scenes have dealt with it.”
He labelled the club and squad “top class” and championed the way they have coped with what has been thrown at them.
“The group we’ve got together have been great and we hope that a reward for this can be us kicking on next season.”
This season has been difficult for the Seasiders with managerial changes and disruption but the attitude and character shown has been first class.
Ible specifically highlighted team captain Daniel Rowe and club captain Shane Bland who, in his opinion, “has been superb.”
He further expressed his admiration for the duo, highlighting they “helped with getting the new players settled in” and “they set the tone for the rest of the squad with their professionalism.”
While it is clear that the abrupt ending to the season is disappointing, there have been some benefits, such as the chance for players to get their fitness back.
This will only help managers Nathan Haslam and Lee Bullock’s in preparing their squad when they can return to training.
And Whitby Town are very much relishing the return to action, with Ible now hoping that the squad can build upon their promising start to the 2020/21 campaign and bring that momentum forwards into the new season.
“We all want to see our hard work pay off next season,” said Ible.
“It’s a bit of a cliché but our target is to reach the play-offs and have good runs in the cup.
“Every team wants to do that but we always train well and the group believe we can achieve that.
“The gaffers also believe that we can do that so hopefully once football starts again, we won’t have to stop, and we can put together a good string of results and be at the top end of the table.”