Oliver: Droitwich's season has been better than expected - The Droitwich Standard

Oliver: Droitwich's season has been better than expected

Droitwich Editorial 10th May, 2016 Updated: 17th Oct, 2016   0


DROITWICH SPA joint-boss Wayne Oliver said this season has been ‘better than expected’ after the Saltmen walked away with two pieces of silverware and their highest ever league position.

After a busy end of season schedule, Oliver’s side battled hard to secure a third place finish in Division Two of the Midland League – their best league finish – as well as clinching the Worcestershire FA Saturday Junior Cup and the league’s very own Presidents Cup.

Spa lifted the WJC at Pershore Town two weeks ago where they beat West Midlands (Regional) League outfit Worcester Raiders 3-2 before securing a 1-0 victory over Division Two champions Alvis Sporting Club at Coton Green’s New Mill Lane to claim the Presidents Cup on Monday night.

Jack Brighton’s free-kick was the difference between the two sides.

And with a trophy-glittered season, Oliver told the Standard he is overwhelmed by the squad’s achievements this campaign.

“This season has been so much better than we expected, it’s been absolutely fantastic to be a part of,” he said.

“We’ve been up against it with so many midweek away games recently, especially with a small squad and the club running without a budget, but they’ve finished strongly and the deserve all they plaudits.

“I’m over the moon to see us finish the season in third but I cannot explain how it feels to have claimed two pieces of silverware.

“It’s what the players deserve as we’ve had tough fixtures in the cup competitions. The 1-0 victory over Alvis on Monday night was the best performance I’ve seen.

“The scenes when we scored and during the presentation was phenomenal.

“There was so much jubilation it was unreal.

“I would like to thank our great supporters and great sponsors who have helped pushed this club towards success.”

Despite missing out on promotion and narrowly missing out on a cup final spot in the Les James Challenge Cup, Oliver feels his side can only keep improving.

When Oliver and fellow joint-boss Mark Owen joined the Saltmen 18 months ago, Spa had lost their opening five league games, conceding 28 in the process.

This season has been a massive turnaround with Spa losing only five times in the league, conceding just 23 times – the second best defensive record behind league champions Alvis (21).

“The progress on and off the field is there for everyone to see,” Oliver added.

“When we came in we had difficult decisions to make by letting long-serving players go and bringing in young talent that have never played at this level before.

“It was a real gamble but the lads have performed brilliantly and got what they deserve.

“We may have missed out on promotion but in reality, this squad isn’t quite ready with the higher demands of playing in the division above but to progress the club further, it’s something we’re looking at.”

With the season now completed, Spa’s preparations for next season are well underway and Oliver is on the look-out for new players to bring in as well as keeping the raw talent at the club, including leading scorer James Lemon – who has netted 44 times in 37 appearances in all competitions – and the highly rated right back Brighton.

Despite this season’s success, Oliver is adamant they need to draw a line under it as quickly as possible and focus on next year.

“Expectations will be really high next season as we’ve done so well. We need to put what we have achieved behind us quickly and move on,” he said.

“I strongly believe that next season will be even harder but I’ve got a shortlist of players I’d like to bring in.

“If we manage to finish top five again next season and do well in the cups that will keep the squad together nicely.

“The players have got a couple of weeks off with a trip to Bournemouth but mine and Mark’s work never stops.”

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