HOWEVER painful and frustrating this season has been, Dorchester Town chairman Neal Butterworth is confident the club now has the opportunity to build for a successful future.
The Magpies’ relegation from Skrill South was confirmed on Tuesday night following a turbulent campaign at the Avenue.
But, rather than dwell on the negatives, Butterworth wants the club to make the most out of the position it is in.
And he has already made it clear what one of the Magpies’ aims will be – a quick return to Conference South football.
On top of that, the chairman is adamant that had a number of budget cuts not been made during the season, there wouldn’t be a club at all.
“There have been a lot of issues on and off the pitch that have made things very difficult this year,” he said.
“Our over-riding aim for this season was to ensure we got to the end of it with a club that was financially solvent.
“We just wouldn’t be here if we hadn’t made those cuts – that’s the harsh reality of it.
“This year has been a learning curve for everybody and we’ve got to take the positives from it.
“It has been a turbulent time this season for a number of reasons and relegation is not something that anybody wanted.
“We have now got to look at the league below us and what opportunities there are.
“There is a lot of optimism around for next season.”
He added: “We are planning for next season and see nothing but opportunities.
“The aim is to get back into the Conference South and we will work as hard as we can to achieve that.
“Players signing new contracts already are an indicator that they are up for the challenge.
“There are lots of exciting matches coming up which we are looking forward to.
“Relegation was the last thing we wanted but at the same time it’s not the end of the world.
“The more I look at it, the more opportunities I can see.”
Butterworth gave special praise to the management and players who have had to deal with wage cuts, a huge turnaround in personnel and a tough time of it on the pitch.
“I think the management team and players have been faultless,” he continued.
“Phil (Simkin), Stuart (Heath) and the rest of the management have had an incredibly challenging and frustrating year, and it has taken its toll on all of them.
“I can’t praise them and the players enough, they’ve really pulled out all the stops.
“Phil has had an immensely challenging time of it after last season and all that brought.
“But he has done an incredible job bringing in players to supplement the team.
“He is now putting a team together for next season and so far the signs are good.
“And if we can have the same commitment, focus and drive next season then we can be very optimistic.”
The Community Trust are still the joint majority shareholders in the club, with full community ownership remaining the ultimate goal.