Relegation hard on Cheesman

Striker vows to stay with Southgate for next season's promotion battle
Monday, March 16th, 2015

Darren Cheesman (right) in action against Canterbury. Photo: Simon Parker

Darren Cheesman will take some time to get over the pain of Southgate's relegation from the NOW: Pensions premier division.

Cheesman jetted in from New Delhi on the day the north London club were held to a goalless draw against Hampstead and Westminster on Saturday, before losing  2-1 against Canterbury in a nerve-wrangling last-day relegation battle the following day.

The mercurial striker had been coaching the Ghana women’s team in the World League in India all week. Now he has vowed to stay at Southgate to get the famous old club back to where he says it belongs.

“We are gutted," said Cheesman, who missed the start of the season with a torn lining of the hip joint. 

“Southgate are a great bunch of guys. The strength of the squad was good enough but we were missing key players like our South African specialist corner strikers in these key games. I scored a goal against Canterbury with a few minutes to go and then we missed a corner in the last minute.

"I have no intention of leaving. Holcombe will win the play-offs and Canterbury are the next best team so they will probably stay up. We will be in a strong position to come straight back again. That has to be our aim.”

During his international career, Cheesman has played at numerous clubs around the country. Now his coaching career is taking off too.

He added: “I am very tired. I went to Delhi on Monday and spent five days with the Ghana team as an FIH-contracted coach. They had lost to India 13-0. Then it was 4-1 to Thailand a 4-0 loss against Poland. I had a last session with them and they only lost 2-0 to Malaysia which was an incredible achievement.

"They are just not used to playing at this level but it was very enjoyable.”

Cheesman will also be running a workshop in May and the Ghana squad will be training at Bisham in August.  In October, he will be occupied with the Africa Cup in Egypt.