Wembley legend Ian Bates has hinted he may reconsider his decision to retire from playing at the end of the season.
The Lions veteran knows the club better than anybody, having first arrived at the Combined Counties Premier outfit 20 years ago and managed them for the past eight.
He announced his intention to retire from the playing squad at the start of the season, but he now admits there might be a chance of his plans changing.
Wembley are preparing to bring the curtain down on another campaign and Bates’ last game would have been Monday’s Middlesex Charity Cup Final at Vale Farm.
Lifting the trophy would be a fitting send-off for the loyal Lion but Bates insists he must wait until pre-season begins before ultimately deciding to hang up his boots.
“I’ve got mixed feelings really,” Bates said of the prospect of playing his final game.
“I reckon I’ve got another season in me, but we will wait and see who comes through the door this summer in pre-season. If the squad isn’t up to scratch I might have to put the boots back on. I don’t want to, but that’s the situation we might found ourselves in.
“As far as I’m aware the boys are all up for another crack at it next season and we’ll bring a few in as well.”
Bates has played more than 1,000 times for Wembley and will lock horns with Uxbridge boss Tony Choules on the touchline next week, a man he knows well, having played under him at Northwood.
“Uxbridge will be a tough opponent,” Bates said.
“In the past month they’ve probably only played four games, whereas we’ve played about 17. That could be the difference on the day. Choulesy is a good boy and he gets the best out of his players. He plays to his team’s strengths and is a good man for when things aren’t going right.”
Before that cup final with Uxbridge, Wembley conclude their league campaign with a trip to Frimley Green on Saturday, having been beaten 4-1 in successive games at Cove on Tuesday night and Raynes Park Vale on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Adrian Dinham, who has undergone keyhole surgery on his groin, and Wayne Walters are both expected to return in time for pre-season.