21st Oct, 2017

100 not out and Droitwich Spa management duo vow to keep batting on

Craig Gibbons 17th Mar, 2017

JOINT-BOSSES Wayne Oliver and Mark Owen took charge of their 100th game for Droitwich Spa at Leamington Hibernian last Saturday – but the pair insist their work is far from complete.

The century of games in charge of the club was marked with a 3-0 win at Leamington as second-half goals from Louis Bridges and James Lemon (2) maintained Spa’s position at the top of Midland League Division Two.

Oliver and Owen’s first game in charge of the Saltmen was a 0-0 draw against Coton Green in October 2014 after the pair took over taking over from Colin Rudge and Andy Pheasant.

By the end of their first season, the management duo had taken Spa from the bottom of Midland League Division Two into the top eight.

In their first full campaign in charge, Oliver and Owen transformed Spa’s fortunes as they finished third in the league, as well as claiming two pieces of silverware in the Worcestershire FA Saturday Junior Cup and the Midland League Presidents Cup.

This term, Spa have crashed out of all the cups available to them, but this in turn has enabled the King George Playing Fields side to focus all their attention on securing promotion to Division One for the first time in the club’s 32-year history.

Speaking to the Standard, Oliver said: “We can’t believe it has been 100 games already, time has gone so fast.

“From the minute we walked in here to the present day, being in charge of Droitwich has been really enjoyable.

“In our first season we got the club off the bottom of the table and into the top eight which was an achievement in its own right.

“Last year we had all the silverware and hopefully there is a bit more to come our way this season.”

Not only has there been success on the field, but there has been success off it too as more and more fans are getting behind the team, not just at home, but away games as well.

A 33-strong crowd watched Spa beat Hibernian last Saturday and 28 of them were Spa supporters.

“The fans have been brilliant since we took over,” Oliver added.

“When we first joined it was one man and his dog turning up, now we are getting close to 100 at home and getting lots of away support too.

“The support from the fans, sponsors and people in the town has been incredible.”

With plenty of success going the way of the Saltmen in the past three years, Oliver is hoping the club can enjoy more glory.

But he remained coy on securing promotion this year.

“When me and Mark came in we committed to a five-year project,” he said.

“We are just over halfway through that and hopefully we can continue to push on and make the next 100 games just as sweet.

“Promotion talk is not permitted at the moment but it would be a massive turnaround in fortunes for the club if it came our way this season.

“Perhaps we will hold that conversation for another day.”

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