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Newmarket Town manager Michael Shinn agrees to stay next season regardless of Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division play-off final result





While Newmarket Town’s play-off final is currently shrouded in uncertainty, their manager Michael Shinn has moved to provide some clarity on his own future.

Back in early February the Jockeys parted company with Shinn, who at that point had been in charge for six years.

The decision to wield the axe came following comments attributed to Shinn that were captured on a Veo camera, but within 72 hours he had been reinstated following a ‘further investigation and several conciliatory meetings’.

Michael Shinn is staying with Newmarket Town regardless of the result of the play-off final. Picture: Mark Westley
Michael Shinn is staying with Newmarket Town regardless of the result of the play-off final. Picture: Mark Westley

Shinn has since guided Newmarket to a second-placed finish in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division – the best performance in the club’s history – and a play-off semi-final victory over Dereham Town last weekend.

The identity of Newmarket’s opponents in the final – and the date that it will be played – is currently in the realms of the unknown after intended opposition Thetford Town were found to have fielded an illegible player in their semi-final triumph over Mulbarton Wanderers.

But regardless of the result once that match eventually does take place, Shinn has agreed to remain Newmarket boss for next term.

The Newmarket players celebrate Ryan Cole’s goal at the weekend. Picture: Mark Westley
The Newmarket players celebrate Ryan Cole’s goal at the weekend. Picture: Mark Westley

“It’s not just good to have clarity for me, but also the players,” said Shinn. “Whether we go up or not, everyone now knows where we’re at and things can settle down.

“We’re at that stage where most non-league managers are questioning if they want to go again. I think a couple have already stepped down in our league. It’s difficult at this level. Even at Step 5 people probably don’t realise how much of your life the job takes up.

“But for the first time in a while, I have no doubts whatsoever that I want to continue with this group of players.

“When you’ve got a squad of players and coaches around you that you trust, that’s something to stick with.”

Ally Conway kept his cool from the penalty spot. Picture: Mark Westley
Ally Conway kept his cool from the penalty spot. Picture: Mark Westley

Against a Dereham side that had done the double over them in the league, Newmarket broke the deadlock with just five minutes on the clock when Ally Conway nipped in on the blindside of his marker to turn home Jake Eady’s left-wing cross.

Rhys Logan levelled up the scoreline in the 21st minute and it remained one goal apiece until the 72nd minute. Youngster Ryan Cole was the scorer for Newmarket with a free kick that he blasted inside the far post.

And the outcome was made certain seven minutes later by Conway, who kept his composure from the penalty spot after James Seymour had been fouled inside the box.

Shinn said: “There are often spells in play-off games where you feel tense and nervy but I didn’t really have that on Saturday.

Josh Lee in action against Dereham Town. Picture: Mark Westley
Josh Lee in action against Dereham Town. Picture: Mark Westley

“We got an early goal, had one disallowed and then they equalised. That rocked us a little bit but we soon settled.

“It was a good performance. I was pleased with the lads and we’ll need to produce something similar against whoever we play in the final.”