Dowson: I almost quit Kingstonian

Difficult season: Alan Dowson

Difficult season: Alan Dowson

First published in Sport Kingston Guardian: Photograph of the Author by

Kingstonian manager Alan Dowson nearly quit Kingsmeadow last season – but is glad chairman John Fenwick did not accept his resignation.

The 41-year-old manager endured a difficult season that saw his side finish 11th in the Ryman Premier League table, in a campaign that never really got out of first gear.

Dowson temporarily let go of the first team reins for five games during some of the darkest of his managerial career that saw Fenwick forced to persuade the former Millwall defender he had a future at the club.

Ks, with their manager suffering with a kidney problem, lost six of their opening eight games to sit bottom of the table, crash out of the FA Cup and look like a team in trouble.

A brief rally with back-to-back wins over Hendon, Lewes and Cray Wanderers in September and October seemed to suggest otherwise, but the campaign never really took off.

Things came to a head after a 3-2 home defeat to Carshalton Athletic in November and Dowson has revealed it nearly saw him leave the club for good.

“Having Tom Bird sent off in the opening 20 minutes of the season wasn’t a great start and we never really got going from there,” he said.

“I gave out contracts willy nilly and that was a mistake. It was a dreadful start and a dreadful time.

“I had pain in my kidneys and I wasn’t well. I was hiding it from everyone – even my family – and it was my lowest point in football.

“When I couldn’t celebrate our equaliser in the defeat to Carshalton because of the pain I was in, I had to do something.

“I had lost my enthusiasm for the game and for the job.

“I handed in my resignation to John, but he didn’t accept it. Some clubs would have let me go there and then, but he just told me to get myself sorted out.

“I did just that and I’m glad I did because I’m buzzing for it now.”

Dowson, who was pleased to finish above Met Police, Tooting & Mitcham and Leatherhead last term, will up his game this summer to build a squad capable of reaching Blue Square South.

He expects to unveil a host of new faces when the squad returns to pre-season training on June 30 and aims to bring back the competitive edge that took Ks to the Ryman Division One South title in 2009 and the Premier League play-off final the following year.

“There was never a point where I thought we had our strongest side out or where I thought we would kick on with results,” he added.

“We lost the fear factor. People were turning up and expecting to get in the team. We are still the biggest club from this area in this league.

“We’re ambitious and we have all got to get our acts together if we are going to achieve what we set out to do.”

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