RENFREW co-manager Colin Clark says securing safety this season might equal the achievement of winning the Central District First Division last year.
Clark and Martin Ferry guided the New Western Park side to their first league title in 24 years last term, but they faced an altogether different challenge this season as they battled to stay in the division.
In an unforgiving Super League First Division where four teams out of 14 are relegated, Frew have one of the smallest budgets in the league and their task was made all the more difficult when they took just one point from their opening six games. Since November they won 10 of their next 19 games, Saturday’s 3-0 win over Shotts confirmed they will stay in the league next year.
Clark spoke of his pride in his squad for coming back from what looked a perilous situation back in November.
He said: “It’s a bit of a relief. It’s a great achievement particularly given the start we had. We had one point after the first six games, since then we’ve only lost four games since November.
“It’s been a great achievement after promotion last year. In many ways its an achievement that is up there with winning the league last season, considering four teams out of 14 are relegated, we have a relatively small budget compered to other teams in the league and we had to recover from a difficult start.”
Despite achieving the club’s stated target of survival for the season, Clark concedes that the campaign is tinged with a slight regret.
Frew are just eight points off the top of the table and Clark insists that Renfrew might’ve been looking at a promotion challenge had they prevented some late goals which cost them points.
He added: “We said to the players on Saturday when we look back and reflect, when you consider the points we’ve given away through late goals, throughout the season I counted close to 20 points.
“We’re only eight points off the top just now so it is a case of what might have been even though we’ve achieved the target we set of staying up.”