Sleaford Town stars agree to stay after fine season
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The Greens finished in fifth place in the United Counties League Premier North last season, their highest ever finish in the non-league pyramid.
With that in mind, player-manager Tom Ward, who has himself committed to the club next season, was keen to keep as much of the squad together as possible in order to launch another assault on promotion – particularly with next season seeing the more conventional play-offs system being introduced at step five.
Ward, whose assistant Louis Bland will also remain at Sleaford, said: “I’m delighted to be staying at a club that matches my ambition.
"It’s taken time to transform the culture but we are now well-placed for success and I am looking forward to the next steps of our journey.”
Among the players to remain will be captain and manager’s Player of the Season, Charlie Ward, who said: “As a Sleaford lad, I’m excited by the club’s development and honoured to be a part of it.
"This group has only just got started. We’ll continue to improve, we’ll continue to fight for each other and I’ve got no doubts that come May, we’ll reflect on last season’s historic achievements as simply being part of the journey.”
Also signing for another season are goalkeeper Liam Flitton, Golden Boot winner Ryan Rushen, midfielder Lewis Daff and striker Jacob Fenton.
Rushen said: “I’m very excited to be staying after a good season for both the team and myself personally.
"I’m looking forward to building on those achievements and contributing towards the next set of goals for the club."
Fenton added: “Having played for Sleaford from Under-8s to first team, this is the biggest buzz I’ve seen around the club.
"It’s 100-years-old this year, hopefully it’ll be a special season to celebrate.”
The UCL Premier North will feature just 18 teams next season, two fewer than last year, meaning just 34 games in total but with the winners being promoted automatically along with one of the next four, as opposed to the second-placed side playing an inter-step play-off.