Progressive LINBY COLLIERY WELFARE have definitely “moved on” thanks to the decision to take their first step on the non-league pyramid.
So said manager Dave Marlow at the club’s annual awards night as Linby reflected on their debut season in the Central Midlands League.
Marlow admitted he had been “quite surprised” how strong the CML’s South Divuision was. And he said the season had been “a massive learning curve”.
But even though his side had finished fifth from bottom, he was confident they were now stronger and wiser to move forward.
The highlights of the season were beating the eventual champions Sutton Town, 3-0 and reaching the quarter-finals of the Notts FA Senior County Cup. They will now be seeded in the county cup and go straight into the last 16 next term.
More than 60 people attended the event at The Empire Club in Hucknall last Saturday night.
A disco and buffet were provided by the club’s main sponsors, Everglade Toolmakers, of Hucknall.
Club secretary Ady Ward thanked all the managers and players for their contributions to the season, which had been Linby’s first with three teams.
The reserves won promotion from Division Two of the Notts Senior League in their first campaign under managers Jamie Wheatley and Jay Parkin.
While the under-18s had enjoyed a positive year in the Chad Mansfield Youth League under boss Dave Brierley.
The individual award-winners were:
FIRST-TEAM -- managers’ player Chaz Niblett, players’’ player Matt Murphy, most improved player Tom Coupe, clubman Martyn Burke, top scorer Matt Murphy.
RESERVES -- managers’ player Darren Dickens, players’ player . Tom Endy, most consistent player Jonny Bernard, clubman Daniel Bernard, top scorer Ross Cheeseman.
UNDER-18S -- managers’ player Matt Brierley, players’ player Adam Fox, most improved player Marshall Collingwood, clubman James Derry, top scorer Joe Butler.
Most first-team players are expected to remain with the club next term, including star striker Murphy, who has now scored 78 goals in three seasons and created a club record by being voted players’ player of the year three times on the spin.
Linby continue to search for a physio, kit manager and matchday secretary. But player Jonathan Dakers is to be appointed assistant manager to Marlow, whose mum, former Dispatch reporter Lynne Marlow, is the club’s new treasurer.
Two notable departures from the club are former Hucknall Town general manager Steve Peat, who is now vice-chairman at Eastwood Town, and veteran Dave Bradshaw.
Peat quit within two weeks of his high-profile move, while Bradshaw resigned exactly two years after he returned to the club as joint boss with Marlow.
Bradshaw was also s successful manager at Linby in his own right between 2004 and 2007.