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Shanahan targets instant bounceback for relegated Club – South London News

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Blackheath head coach James Shanahan is targeting a swift return to National League 1 after their relegation was confirmed last weekend.

Club lost 53-28 at Cinderford on Saturday with Leeds Tykes climbing above them following a 41-24 success at Taunton.

Tykes have won their last three matches and still have one more game to go at home to Cinderford today.

It signals the end of Blackheath’s 18-year stay in National 1 since they were promoted in 2004.

“Obviously we’re hugely disappointed in the season,” said Shanahan. “Saturday epitomised us, some really good stuff, then poor stuff – the good, the bad and the ugly.

“I always felt we were going to be under pressure this year after losing 18 starting players through the Covid period and reductions in budget, though I never expected to be in the position we are in.

“That said, we accept where we are and will take some kind of positive. We’ll take inspiration from Caldy, who were relegated from National League One and returned with back-to-back promotions.

“We’ll regroup, retain the players we want to retain, recruit well, maybe bring some old boys back who know the culture and the DNA of the club. We’ll work hard during pre-season and look to kick on and bounce back quickly.”

Blackheath lost 10 of their final 11 fixtures to slide deeper and deeper into trouble.

They did upset local rivals Rosslyn Park at the end of March but then were beaten in the final four fixtures.

Blackheath will play in National League 2 next season.

PICTURE: SEAN GOSLING

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