By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
After the heart-breaking Blue Square Bet North play-offs semi-final defeat to FC Halifax Town, Guiseley manager Steve Kittrick threw his own future into doubt.
In his usual post-match interview with Colin Robertson, when next season was mentioned, Kittrick said: “That is down to the club. There are some bridges to cross, I am not under contract. I don’t know what I’m doing and the club don’t know what they’re doing…They may want a fresh face after five and a half years.”
He sounded like a broken man, which is hardly surprising considering that Guiseley finished in second-place, ten points ahead of Brackley Town and a massive 16 points above Halifax, who are now one win away from a return to the Conference Premier.
But, what more could Kittrick have done? Champions Chester FC were unstoppable. Guiseley ended the campaign with 91 points – a record total for the club which would normally be good enough to win the league.
Kittrick has not done much wrong. His five and a half years at Nethermoor have been glory-laden. After a jittery start to life as Guiseley manager after his move from Ossett Town, winning the 2009 Northern Premier League Challenge Cup started the chain of success.
An incredible finish to the 2009-10 UniBond Premier Division saw Guiseley lift the title on the final day and secure promotion to the Conference North. A last gasp play-off final defeat at AFC Telford United followed, but two consecutive West Riding County Cups have ensured silverware in the last two years. A third could follow next week.
Kittrick deserves another shot at the Blue Square Bet North title. If Guiseley take their form from this season into the next and there is no Chester mark two, then the Lions have a great chance.