CARL ADAMS reflected on another record-breaking campaign for Stratford Town and predicted they will need to continue to improve next season.
The Town boss said he was proud of his players as they ended the Southern Premier season in 14th place – their highest ever with a best ever points tally of 56 – and ahead of the likes of more established Redditch United, Dorchester Town, Cambridge City and Hayes & Yeading.
In every season under his stewardship, Stratford have improved, from the Midland Alliance and winning the title and the promotion play-offs success in Southern Division One South & West.
After Dan Summerfield’s 89th-minute strike secured a season-ending 1-1 draw at home to Dorchester – who stayed up as a result – he praised the players after a roller-coaster nine months.
“I’m very, very proud to what we’ve achieved. I’m pleased to finish 14th – that’s a jump of five or six spots from last season and I don’t think many clubs in this league have made that sort of progress,” he said.
“Saturday was a poor game but that shouldn’t take the gloss of what has been a tremendous season for us. Dorchester came to get a point and they succeeded in doing just that so fair play to them.
“We were just flat after so many games recently. It would have been nice to sign off with a win but we couldn’t quite manage it.
“But over the season as a whole I’ve been really pleased with how we’ve performed. For a club of our stature to finish 14th in as tough a league as this is a superb effort from everyone involved.
“I am really proud of the players whose commitment throughout the season I can’t fault and likewise the fans, we’ve had some ups and downs along the way since opening up at St Ives back in August, but they’ve stuck with us and hopefully be back on board again next season.
“We’ve improved from last season and I’m really proud of how we are progressing
“Next season will be an even bigger test with the likes of Hereford coming in, but I’ve every confidence we’ll be ready for the challenge.”
Adams wants to build on the foundations already laid down by his young squad.
Midfielder Will Grocott, a summer signing from Kettering, has become a vital influence, and his performances were recognised with three player of the season awards, including the fans’ and manager’s accolades.
Despite his injury lay-off, Edwin Ahenkorah took the top goalscorer award.