McNamara accepts 'devastating' FA decision

Manager Dan McNamara admits he’s ‘heartbroken’ for his Wolves Women players after the Football Association decided to end the Women’s National League prematurely but insists it’s a decision that everyone must accept.

Wolves were sitting nine points clear at the top of Division 1 Midlands with seven games of the season remaining before the league was put on hold due to the coronavirus epidemic. But the FA announced on Thursday that tiers three to seven of the women’s game have been brought to ‘an immediate end’ meaning there will be no prospect of promotion for McNamara’s side this season.

On the season ending prematurely

“I’m heartbroken and devastated for the girls because they have worked so hard this season. Although I believe the FA’s decision has been made too early, we must accept it, as it has been made based on the safety of everyone at this present moment in time.

“Football must take a backseat in this current period, with everything that we are all going through. We must think about the supporters, the players, the staff and everybody involved in football – that has to be at the forefront of our minds and our primary concern.

“However, that doesn’t make the decision any easier on us as staff, on the club, and on the girls who have worked tirelessly throughout this season to put themselves in the position that they have done.”

On the impact throughout the women’s game

“Although promotion is never guaranteed, it’s not just ourselves who will be affected by this. If you go one division above, Sunderland are running away with their league and would have been making that massive step up to the Championship.

“It’s a very tough decision to take but we’ve got to accept it, we’ve got to move on, and there will be some big decisions to be made over the summer because it’s going to take a lot to motivate people to come back from such a difficult time.”

On what the future holds

“Our immediate plans are focused on ensuring the safety of all our players and staff and make sure everybody in the UK is listening to what the government are saying, and together we can hopefully overcome this virus.

“It will take a couple of weeks to let this news digest, and the girls have got to go away and think about their futures and what that holds.

“We’ve got a lot of players who should be playing higher in the women’s pyramid and at the start of the season, I asked them to come and do a job for me and they’ve done that, but some of them might want to go on a different journey, and we as a club have got to respect that.

“However, it’s early days for us to start saying what’s going to be happening in the future, but a period of reflection is important for all of us.”