STEVE Riley would welcome the chance to manage “a steady ship” at AFC Totton next season after two of the most challenging years of his managerial career.
With the Stags working hard to iron out their problems, Riley wants the opportunity to be part of a thriving set-up rather than one lurching from one financial crisis to the next.
“I’ve spoken to chairman Andy Straker and they want me to stay,” said Riley, whose two-year contract runs out this summer.
“I’m a loyal type of person and they want to reward me for doing the job under difficult circumstances for two seasons.
“I want to be part of it next season, I feel I’ve got unfinished business here.
“A few managers would have walked away at the first sign of pressure and taken the easy option, but I’ve stuck with it and I’d like to continue mentoring these lads, coaching them and making them better players.
“I don’t do it for the praise, but it always helps to get a pat on the back.
“I know how hard everyone at Totton works. They’re nice, honest people and it would be great to start next season with everything sorted so we can make a fresh start.”
Despite being doomed to the third relegation spot, Totton still attracted a healthy 311 crowd as they signed off their home programme with a 1-1 draw against fellow relegated outfit Bedford Town yesterday.
Nathaniel Sherborne stylishly opened the scoring on 24 minutes, latching onto a ball over the top and cleverly beating two defenders before slipping a shot under keeper Lee Crockett.
Seven minutes later Bedford’s dangerous No9 Tom Rawlings produced an equally fine finish to fire across former Fawley AFC goalkeeper Joe Prodomo, making his debut in place of Steve Mowthorpe.
“It would have been nice to finish with a win at home, but there was a great, positive atmosphere today,” said Riley.
“We’ve got one game left at Burnham (tomorrow, 3pm), the bus is full and hopefully we’ll get three points for the travelling fans and finish the season on a high.”
Prior to kick-off on Saturday, Luke Roberts was honoured as AFC Totton’s player-of-the-season for 2013/14.
He picked up 34 per cent of the vote ahead of another home-grown talent, 17-year-old Zac Mouland (25 per cent). Former Fawley centre-back Rob Flooks was third (20 per cent). Star man Roberts has been out with a knee injury since the start of the month and Riley said: “It’s improving, but it’s not worth risking at this stage.”