MSFL's South Manx saved by ex-player

Premier Division basement battlers South Manx are given the kiss of life after manager walks out

By Danny Caro, March 11, 2010
Departed: Nitka

Departed: Nitka

An eleventh-hour reprieve prevented the MSFL from losing another team after Premier Division South Manx were taken over by Craig Edwards.

Following an embarrassing 12-2 mauling by first division Oakwood in the JC Cyril Anekstein Cup, Manx manager John Nitka resigned and it appeared that the team would become the sixth to fold this season.

Developments took a twist overnight when former player Craig Edwards agreed to return to the club and take charge. Edwards said: “I will bring in some new players this week and we will stick it out for the last few games and rebuild.”

Edwards, 24, rejoined the club following a spell at Catford & Bromley Maccabi. He said: “We took the club from Division Five to the Premier so it seemed stupid to let things fizzle out.”

Looking at the league overall, he said: “It’s disappointing that teams have left. Players should step up instead of always sitting on the bench for their teams.”

Explaining his decision to leave the club, Nitka said: “It’s all about respect and care and I’d had enough. I will be speaking to a couple of clubs about next season but I will finish this one as a ref.”

League chairman David Wolff said: “I’m glad Craig stepped in. It’s a huge relief.”

Shaun Simons, the club secretary, believes that the league’s problems are deep-rooted. He said: “I feel a key fact is that with two Premier Division teams dropping out close to Chanukah, we were not in a position where we even needed to challenge to stay up. It became difficult to generate any form of enthusiasm to play when there is nothing to play for as no team would be relegated and with ‘bigger clubs’ poaching our players throughout, it became hard to field a team.

Manx lost keeper Max Shields to North West Neasden last summer and last week Elliot Stern joined the defending champions.

Simons said: “Elliott went after Neasden drove him mad. They got injuries so flexed their muscles and got him. They have been trying to get our players all season and it unsettled the whole team and set up.”

Last updated: 9:56am, March 12 2010