Perhaps it was fitting that head coach Keith Boanas’ last game in charge of Watford Ladies was cancelled due to the weekend’s treacherous conditions.

The man himself stopped short of using that word to describe the club’s treatment by those in command at sister club Watford over the past few months, but is taking some time out of the spotlight with some real questions over who he can trust in the game still to be answered.

For those who were not following the story at the time, Boanas led Watford to a moderately successful Spring Series finish before this year’s Women’s Super League 2 season. At that point the expectation was they would be applying for a full-time position in the revamped top-tier WSL1, which relaunches next season.

But the squad and Boanas himself were only told of the decision to remain part-time - and in fact drop down to the third tier of the women’s game next season - in the hours before it was made public.

The experienced coach, who has previously led Charlton Athletic to FA Cup finals, has since walked away from the club. His last game was due to be Sunday’s WSL2 fixture at Brighton & Hove Albion, but it was called off - meaning he could not get the send off his short tenure arguably deserved.

“I couldn’t say goodbye in the way I would have liked to have done. I think the players were even more sad than we were,” Boanas said.

“A lot of messages I got afterwards were very emotional from the players which made it even tougher to leave.”

At the time the announcement was made, Boanas told the Watford Observer he had agreed to stay on until the end of December but his future beyond that still hung in the balance.

But his decision was in fact accelerated after several of the club’s first-team players told him they would stay on at the club if he did likewise - something he felt was not in anyone’s best interests.

Boanas explained: “After the initial announcement we had contemplated seeing the season out and some of the payers said they would be happy to play for us if we did that.

“But based on my principles, I felt it put a pressure on the players to stay and there’s already too much disappointment among the squad. So if they want to play as well as some of those players can, it would be in their best interests in the long term, and it would make those players who aspire to play at a higher level, to make those decisions quicker because we weren’t there.

“It was impossible for me to get over the decision. There’s one thing I couldn’t be accused of and that’s not saying what I feel is the truth. But I’m bitterly disappointed with the decision, which is totally against what I had expected.”

In the end, Boanas’ reign did not even last a year with the Ladies, whom he took over in February after they had endured a spell of underachievement in WSL2.

The results took an upturn during the one-off Spring Series competition, and while they had not necessarily born fruit straight away this campaign, performances were picking up before the bombshell of the club announcement last month.

“We created something very quickly,” Boanas said. “This season didn’t start as well as we had expected, but we had got a better youth structure in place and there was a new girls’ academy linked. We started to build a base which could go forward but how long it will take to re-establish that if they just want it to be a community club I don’t know.

“I don’t know if Watford as a club can see the benefits of having the higher level women’s team as part of the club. I don’t think it’s their strategic plan. All I can hope for is for some of the young girls that a regime comes in which wants that.

“Watford will have that lower level structure and if the girls reach the level they want to individually, they’ll have to move on to play at a higher level which is a sad thing.

“Some of the players like Helen Ward want to play at an international level and can’t afford to drop down two levels. Anyone else who wants to do that won’t be able to do it either.

“Some of the talent in the development squad would’ve been pushing on the door of the first team in a year’s time even in WSL1.

“It was lovely to get some of the messages I did when leaving. Helen said she’d been amazed at the care and advice I gave to the players. I always try to improve them as individuals and I think we’ve done that.”