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Oakham set sights on quick return after relegation




Ryan Hunnings has stepped down as Oakham United manager but will remain on the club's committee. (2296115)
Ryan Hunnings has stepped down as Oakham United manager but will remain on the club's committee. (2296115)

Oakham United have set their sights on a quick return to the United Counties League as their three season stay at step six of the non-league pyramid looks set to end.

The Rutlanders were not included in the Football Association's provisional allocations of clubs for steps five and six which was revealed at the weekend.

Their return to the Peterborough League is expected to be confirmed at the annual meeting next month which has prompted first team boss Ryan Hunnings to resign from his role.

Hunnings will remain with the Lonsdale Meadow club on their commitee and wants to play a crucial role behind the scenes in guiding them back to the United Counties League.

The former Langtoft United boss said: "I felt we needed a new gaffer to take us back up.

"Myself and Stew Lambie have both joined the committee and we're going to try and bring in a manager with a proven track record.

"My best season in the Peterborough League was an eighth place finish so I made the decision that we wanted someone who has done it before and would be a better person to take us straight back up."

Oakham club stalwart Stew Lambie has joined former boss Ryan Hunnings on the club's committee. (2296117)
Oakham club stalwart Stew Lambie has joined former boss Ryan Hunnings on the club's committee. (2296117)

Hunnings took over the Oakham hot-seat at the end of October and was their fourth manager of the season after Will Moody, Kai Brownhill and Joe Featherstone.

A much-improved finish to the campaign saw Oakham collect nine points from their final six games to finish with a 17-point haul from 38 matches.

Hunnings continued: "I'm disappointed that I was the manager who took the club down. I did what I could, but the damage had already been done.

"We tried our best and beating Buckingham 9-1 was a real highlight. We won some important games near the end against some competitive sides in the league.

"It was a good experience and I wanted to stay on at the club and this will still keep me involved.

"I have fallen in love with the club and I will support and help the new manager as much as they want.

"I want us to have two competitive sides again and, with a proper pre-season behind us, that can happen.

"We want it to be a short stay in the Peterborough League because we will be doing everything we can to get back in the United Counties League and we need to get the right man in to make that happen.

"The relegation did come a bit out of the blue because I felt we had done enough in the last 10 games of the season to stay in the division.

"It feels harsh as we were just starting to get a squad together that was showing they could be competitive in the United Counties League.

"We do feel a little hard done by, but you can't expect to finish in the bottom two and then get a reprieve.

"We should have done more during the season. The last 10 games were good - it was just the 25 games before that."



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