Rafi Razzak: Basingstoke Town manager Jason Bristow will be offered a new contract

Basingstoke Town chairman Rafi Razzak

Basingstoke Town chairman Rafi Razzak

First published in Sport Basingstoke Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Sports Reporter

BASINGSTOKE Town chairman Rafi Razzak says that Jason Bristow will be given the chance to lead the first team next season.

It has been a disappointing season for the Camrose club, who made a decent start but ended the campaign 14th in the Conference South table, 16 points short of the play-off places.

Despite this, Razzak insists that Bristow is the right man for the job.

“I am disappointed with the performance of the first team this year, but my faith in Jason Bristow is unshaken,” Razzak said. “I am still 100 per cent behind him and can say that he definitely will be offered a new contract.

“Jason is learning from the experience and lessons he is getting as a manager, while the new brand of football that the team is playing is very exciting.

“We have a solid defence and pass the ball much better but our major problem this year has been that we cannot put the ball in the net.

“Hopefully, we can continue to build on the passing game and just add a few more goals.

“My expectations were a lot higher, and I am sure that my disappointment is shared by the management team, directors and supporters.”

It has also been a frustrating year for Razzak’s hopes of building a new stadium.

Plans to build a £10million ground on land next to the Hilton Basingstoke hotel, in Eastrop, were unveiled almost two-and-a-half years ago.

At the time, Razzak stated that he hoped the project would be completed in March 2014, with the club moving to the new ground in time for the start of the 2014-15 season.

However, the planning process has taken far longer than the Town chairman ever thought it would.

The proposal has yet to be brought before the development control committee at Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and Razzak admits that he cannot predict when it will eventually happen.

“It’s difficult to put a timescale on when it all will come together and I would be guessing if I gave a date,” he said. “I still believe that the move to the new ground will happen, but it is taking far longer than I ever thought it would.

“The council have been very supportive and we are working hard behind the scenes. It’s complicated because there are two sites to worry about – the Camrose and the site of the new ground.

“As far as I am concerned, there are no major issues holding things up. It’s just a case of going through the process.”

Things may not be going exactly to plan, either on the pitch in in terms of the new ground, but Razzak is pleased with the progress made elsewhere.

“Away from the pitch, I have been encouraged by everything that has happened," he said. "I'm sure that Simon Hood will prove to be a real asset on the marketing side, and the board of directors are doing a good job of running the club on a day-to-day basis.

“I'm pleased with the growth of the Academy, which will have more than 50 young players next season, and the football in the community programme is also growing nicely.

“It's not just about the first team, we have to make sure that the whole club is in a healthy position."

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