Special Feature: Heath Knows Reds Have What It Takes

Ask yourself, is it possible to suffer play-off heartbreak without even being involved in them?

Some would say the very notion if it sounds crazy.

Not for Alfreton Town manager Billy Heath though. His first season with the Reds went a little off-piste, ultimately culminating in a bottom-half finish - some 15 points adrift of the top seven.

But for a man who tasted success in two of the three seasons before last, it was a bitter pill to swallow.

"I’ve been fortunate for the last five years to be involved in the play-offs," Heath told us for our latest special feature.

"Even with the first season when I got promoted with North Ferriby we were in the play-offs. It was a bit strange last time with the season just finishing and that being that and it was disappointing and quite tough."

That being said, Heath has never been one to throw in the towel at the first sign of failure.

"A lot of managers don’t get that nowadays in this crazy game," he added. "It took us five years to get out of the league with North Ferriby and sometimes it can seem like it takes forever.

"It’s small stepping stones and it is what it is. There’s that many full-time clubs in this league now and the quality is stepping up every single season.

"But as long as we’ve got players here that want to roll their sleeves up and put a shift in then I’m happy to give it a go."

So what was missing last time around? Reds fans saw the good, the bad and at time, the very ugly from their side last season.

Impressive wins over would-be champions Stockport County and Chorley were almost wiped from the memory with catastrophic defeats against Spennymoor Town and Altrincham - conceding seven goals in each.

"I think we’ve got the right characters in this year with the right attitude," Heath admitted.

"It’s what we were missing at times last season. Some managers talk about lots of things and overcomplicate this game.

"It’s all about hard work and players that have that desire. We might lack quality at times but you’re going to always be on the right side with the effort and commitment.

"We made a conscious decision this year to get people in the building that that wanted to work hard every week and had a good attitude towards what we want to do."

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