CARL Adams believes his faith in his Stratford Town players has been rewarded by their push for the top ten in the Evo-Stik Southern Premier.
The Town manager made a conscious choice last season to stick with the nucleus of his players to develop longer-term, rather than being sucked into regular chopping and changing.
Such has been the continuity, the only additions to Town’s squad during the season have been from the youth set-up.
“I made the decision that I would run with these lads, whatever the results,” said Adams. “I said at the time they were young lads who would have up and downs but we wanted them to learn together. If they did they would improve together.
“We have had good spells and poor spells but the fact we are pushing for the top ten shows they are learning. I backed their ability, they just needed the experience.”
Town will face a test of their top ten credentials on Saturday when they entertain seventh-placed Tiverton Town at the MoodChimp Stadium, weather permitting.
After Saturday’s 1-0 win at Gosport Borough, thanks to Lee Thomas’ 49th-minute goal, Town occupy 14th place in the table but they are only two points behind Frome Town in tenth.
Last season’s 14th-placed finish was the club’s highest in its near 70-year history and Adams wants to keep pushing, with the top ten the target.
“At the start of the season we were one of the favourites to be relegated,” he said. “For us to finish in the top ten would be a major feat. It just shows the job we are doing on the pitch. We’re a good squad and we’ve proved it.”
Town’s home game against Hitchin Town was postponed on Tuesday because of the weather and has been rescheduled for Tuesday, March 27.
It will mean a busy month with promotion-chasing Kettering Town (March 17) and King’s Lynn Town (March 31) also heading to the MoodChimp Stadium.
Meanwhile, Town top goalscorer Ben Stephens played the full 90 minutes for Ipswich Town U23s on Monday.
It was the 20-year-old’s second outing with the young Tractor Boys and he set up one of the goals in a 3-2 win at Portman Road against West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League Cup.
Now Stephens will wait to see whether Ipswich will offer him a professional contract.