Celebration time for champions Wolves Sporting
Proud boss Andy Paddock hailed the ‘perfect day’ after Wolverhampton Sporting Community lifted the West Midlands Premier Division trophy.
Sporting were handed the prize on Saturday, having earlier blasted through the 100-point barrier courtesy of a 3-0 win over Malvern Town.
Strikes from Tom Hill, Dan Scragg and a Jamie Sauntson own goal for the visitors got the party started as the hosts celebrated a superb campaign which will finish with them at least 15 points clear at the top of the table.
Paddock said: “I was surprised by the performance on Saturday. You never know how things are going to be once the title is sown up but the players showed a lot of desire and commitment.
“There was a big crowd too. It was just a great day, the perfect day in many ways.
“You really could not have scripted it better.
“Malvern gave us a guard of honour on to the pitch. There was a great atmosphere around the place.
“I’m pleased for the players, they deserve all the credit.
“But no-one deserves the success more than the people behind the scenes. The chairman was out on the tractor cutting the grass before the game and that just sums it up.
“A huge amount goes on to make sure the club functions properly. It was great to see people who have worked so hard enjoying themselves.”
Paddock’s men completed their league campaign yesterday with a hard-fought 3-2 win over Cradley Town.
Goals from Ben Perks, Chadd Birch and Jon Letford saw them fight back from a goal down, after Aaron Weston had given Cradley the lead at the break.
Adam Meacham also netted for the visitors late on.
The result meant Sporting finished the season having won 34 of their 38 league fixtures, scoring an incredible 148 goals in the process. It was also their 18th straight win in an unbeaten run which now stretches for 21 matches.
Paddock added: “I think our success is proof big budgets don’t automatically win championships.
“There are clubs who have spent an awful lot of money to finish 20 or 30 points behind us.”
Sporting’s success is made all the more impressive by the congested nature of the fixture list they and others have had to negotiate, during a campaign wracked by bad weather.
Neither is their business finished yet. Paddock’s men face Brocton in a JW Hunt Cup quarter-final tomorrow night, before travelling to Cradley Town for a League Cup semi-final on Saturday.
Plans for next season in the Midland League Premier will not begin in earnest until the campaign is complete.
But Paddock believes they already possess the ingredients to be a force in the division above.
He added: “We’re going to need to sit down and talk. I’ve not had chance to speak to the board, or indeed any of the players yet about their feelings.
“The hard part will be keeping this squad together. If we can do that and maybe strengthen in one or two areas, then I believe we can challenge for a top-six finish in the division above.
“It will be a bigger commitment next season. The players will need to take that into account too. There are more games. There are no easy games, either.
“Right now we just want to enjoy what we have achieved this season. We are still determined to do well in the cups and won’t be letting up. The hard work will start again before you know it.”