Daventry Town Football Club finally confirmed their status as United Counties League Division 1 champions at the weekend after leading the chasing pack for several months.
The title completes a remarkable turnaround for the team who only a year ago were struggling to find enough players from one game to the next.
After seeing the players celebrating and spraying the Champagne put on ice for them by Saturday’s opponents Stewarts & Lloyds Corby ahead of kick off, club secretary Brian Porter reflected on just how far the team has come in 12 months.
He said: “We’ve come an awful long way from trying to scrape a team together. This time last year we only had about six or seven players, every match we’d play we’d lose another three or four players.
“We were struggling to keep the club alive and finish the season. If someone had said in a year’s time we’d be picking up the league title we would never have expected that.”
Town have had to navigate several obstacles this season. The club had no budget and have had to cope with serious injuries including two broken legs, and two cruciate injuries.
Furthermore the squad underwent a complete makeover at the start of the season, and the success enjoyed by Daventry Town owes a lot to the management of Aaron Parkinson and Andy Marks.
“The management have done fantastic with the players that they have brought in,” said Mr Porter.
“I think if we’d had a year in mid table in Division 1 we would have been more than happy, but they’ve brought in lads with proven ability and all played for nothing.”
The team will play its final two matches over the course of the Easter weekend, with the players set to lift the trophy on Saturday away at Woodford United. Celebrations will then follow on Easter Monday at Communications Park as Town’s season draws to a close in a 1pm kick off against Long Buckby.
Thoughts can then shift to next season when the team will compete in the United Counties League Premier Division, the fourth different league the club has played in as many years.
“Our main aim is to consolidate next season,” said Mr Porter.
“I think the fact we played against Newport Pagnell at home in the FA Vase and pushed them all the way gives us confidence.
“If we manage to keep the majority of the lads we’ve got now, with one or two additions I think we’ll be in for quite a good season.”