Darren Byfield aiming high at Walsall Wood
Walsall Wood manager Darren Byfield has 'unfinished business' with the club has he vows to make a promotion charge in the 2020/21 season.by Liam Keen
The former Villa and Walsall striker left the club at the end of last season and joined Southern Premier side Alvechurch as manager.
He left the Worcestershire club in November and returned to Wood in January this year.
The current campaign was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic in March, with the Black Country club sixth in the Midland Premier League, although they had several games in hand on the teams above them.
Once the season was stopped, the overriding feeling for Byfield has been disappointment as he felt the club were capable of achieving success this year.
"It's unfinished business now, after what I did with Walsall Wood a few seasons ago," he said.
"To go to the last day and lose out on goal difference was still a massive achievement.
"We didn't win anything in the end but we still had success and next season was all prepared for us to go up and then Alvechurch came calling.
"As a manager you want to manage as high as you can and I moved on.
"It was a hard job and I like a challenge but it didn't work out.
"Back at Walsall Wood we quickly found a way to go and attack teams, on the same blueprint to when I was there before without the back three.
"We were looking good and when the season was cancelled we were gutted.
"Everyone was looking at Coventry United and Sporting Khalsa but we had games in hand and could have been right up there.
"We were getting stronger and getting injuries back."
Now, Byfield is preparing to take that form into next season as he aims to challenge at the top.
"A team like Walsall Wood, this football club has a lot of ambition," he added.
"It will be my first time from pre-season and if we can keep our players and bring others in, we can definitely have a chance of challenging at the top.
"It's difficult with players at the moment because of the coronavirus and then we don't know what's going on with friendlies too.
"But we'll be ready for whenever the season starts and we'll give it a good go."