MARTIN Gadsby says the wealth of talent at Uttoxeter Town is “frightening” as the club look to build on this season’s astonishing success.
Town finished their 2013-14 campaign with the required four-goal victory at Keele on Saturday, but Wolstanton United beat Hilton Harriers, meaning the 6-2 win was not quite enough to claim the Staffordshire Senior League Premier Division title.
However, they had long since secured a second successive promotion in runners-up spot, ultimately finishing 15 points clear of third place, and skipper Gadsby (pictured) said – despite the disappointment at not catching the leaders – he was proud of the achievement.
“Obviously we’re disappointed not to have won it,” he said.
“We can look back at some results over the season and pick holes in certain games, but the reality is that we would have taken second place if it was offered to us last August.
“So we have to be pleased with what we have achieved.
“We have a young squad – with the exception of me – and they have played beyond their years at times this season and have finished above some very good sides.
“The standard of the SCSL Premier is good, you only have to look at the success Wolstanton, Hanley, Ball Haye Green have had in the Staffs Vase to see that.
“Three of the quarter-finalists were SCSL teams and they were competing with level six opponents.
“That gives us confidence for next season but we will need to improve again, we are going into a level that we all wanted to be at.
“Originally that was a five-year plan, so for it to have arrived in two years is unbelievable.
“The talent some of the youngsters have – and I include the Under-18s in that – is frightening, so we are looking forward with a lot of optimism.”
Wolstanton beat Hilton to secure the title, and Gadsby was quick to praise the new champions.
“Credit where it’s due to Wolstanton, they have been the most consistent team in the league.
“They have the best defence and one striker – Mark Grice – who has scored 59 goals on his own.
“Any team which can boast those two elements are going to have a decent season, so to have run them to the last game of the season is a credit to us as well.
“It also shows how costly that 2-0 reverse was against them in February.
“We’ll enjoy a few weeks off but speaking to some of the lads there is a real hunger to do well again next season.
“It will be tough but I have every faith we can improve again and be a force in whatever league we go into.”
Promotion to level six of the non-league pyramid represents a meteoric rise on and off the pitch for Town, and one strengthened by the success the reserves and Under-18s have achieved in their respect leagues and cups.
There was a glimmer of hope before kick off with Town knowing that a Hilton victory down the A50 would open the door for their second successive championship, should they be able to overcome Keele by four clear goals.
The end result showed Town completing their half of the job, but Wolstanton cruised to victory at Harriers to claim the league title.
The game started with Town strengthened by the return of Matt Redshaw and James Curley to the , and it was that strike duo who combined throughout to kill off a spirited Keele outfit.
Redshaw finished brilliantly in the 17th minute to give Town the lead before Curley notched two expert finishes to see the visitors to a comfortable half-time advantage.
A shaky start to the second period allowed Keele back into the game with two goals, but Curley took his personal goal tally for the season to 31 as he produced a devastating display of finishing to notch five goals for the second consecutive game.
Town will now eagerly await the news of which league they will be placed into as they get set for life at step 6 of the non-league pyramid.
Uttoxeter’s presentation evening is being held at the Platinum Suite at Uttoxeter Races on Friday, May 30, with tickets for sale at £30 per person with dinner and entertainment included.
Town are also looking to hire assistance in a number of matchday jobs next season, and anyone who would like more details can contact the club at www.uttoxetertownfc.co.uk.
Infinity IT Man of the Match: James Curley – a fine finish to the season for the front man , 10 goals in two games.
Town: Langridge, Price, Springall, Gadsby, Marshman, Hodson, Sowter, Holley, Woods, Curley, Redshaw.