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VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH- MANAGER OF THE MONTH
Kevin Wilkin (Brackley Town)
Brackley Town fans knew back in August it would take quite a lot to better last season. After all, they not only won the FA Trophy at Wembley but reached the National League North Promotion Final in the process.
Kevin Wilkin knows there’s only one way his side can improve on that - and March saw them take a giant leap towards achieving their goal of going up.
They started the month in fine fettle with a 3-1 win over Blyth Spartans.
Brackley then became the team to end Stockport County’s incredible three-month undefeated run with a 1-0 success at St James Park.
They then went on to defeat play-off rivals Kidderminster Harriers, before seeing to Hereford with a professional 2-0 away win.
Wilkin’s side ended the month with a credible goalless draw at Southport. It will take a lot already for them to miss out on the play-offs now.
Congratulations to Kevin who has been named Vanarama Manager of the Month for March. This is clearly a good month for Brackley Town – Kevin was Vanarama Manager of the Month in March last year also!
The award recognises Saints’ remarkable form since the turn of the year taking the team into third place in the table and narrow defeat in the FA Trophy by Leyton Orient as the holders only gave up their trophy after the greatest of fights.
“This is recognition for my team and the work put in by everybody concerned,” Kevin said.
Congratulations from everybody at the club on this well deserved award.
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We are delighted that Carl, Ellis and Matt Lowe have all signed for next season 2019/20
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VOTE NOW CLOSED
You can cast your vote for player of year by clicking on link below.
For those who cannot do online votes there will be forms in the club shop at the Boston game.
YOU WILL NEED TO ENTER YOUR NAME IN FULL OR YOUR VOTE WILL NOT BE COUNTED
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“The gaffer did well …”
Ellis Myles has played a big part in Saints’ recent fine vein of form. A fans’ favourite and, of the current squad, Ellis is behind only Glenn Walker in appearances for the club. Here he looks forward to the remaining part of the season.
“We had a bit of a rest with the games that were called off,” he says. “That may have been helpful with one or two players having injuries to overcome and it was a break. The Altrincham match was called off in the morning so obviously we had prepared properly then got the news. I got some extra sleep then went out to watch a local team play. It is nice occasionally to watch a game. But everyone is really positive and looking forward to every game. The win over Stockport stands out. It was a good game and one I enjoyed. It felt like a big one and there was a big crowd. They seem to be most people’s team to beat and they were league leaders before that game so it was a big win and one that we deserved.”
Looking at the games to come Ellis takes a pragmatic and a cautious view and is not getting carried away with what is still possible for his team this season. “You have to treat each game one at a time. You might say if we can beat Stockport we can beat anyone but it rarely works that way. We have some midweek away games to come and that can work to our advantage or not depending really. You can feel tired playing Saturday then Tuesday or if you are winning you just want to keep playing games to get momentum. Altrincham were one of the better teams we played so far so that will be an especially hard match and a tough test. But I don’t think we should fear anybody. If we are on our game we should not fear any team.”
Ellis is still a young player who is learning and improving. He is thoughtful and more considered than a few years ago and he shows maturity and sensitivity and how much he cares when he talks about the team and his team-mates. “The lads have been playing really well and everyone has a part to play,” he says. “Players on the bench are pushing everyone who is starting to be better and that’s a really good sign of a strong team”
“I think Lee [Ndlovu] is one of the players who has developed massively in his time here. I think Kevin has helped him and the lads around him have helped him. This season he has been amazing for us. His knowledge of the game and his touches have developed a lot. In the formation we are playing this season we need a lot from him and he delivers with his strength and his work for the team and he has scored a lot of goals also.”
“Carl [Baker] is another important player and a good addition when he came in from Nuneaton. I think it suits him here to be playing a bit higher up the pitch and he is part of a successful side here. He seems to be enjoying it and he’s scoring goals also. We have welcomed him with open arms. He has been a good signing that the gaffer did well to pull off.”
More reluctant to talk about himself he opens up in reflective mood: “I am pleased with my game. I think I have learned a lot. Nobody likes to be on the bench and I’ve had spells on the bench but it has taught me stuff and I think I am a better player for it. I have been back in the side for the last 8 or 9 games and being out probably helped me understand some things better. I like it here at the club. I was here 6 or 7 years ago then I came back and it’s my third season now. We don’t have a huge fan-base like some clubs but it means you do get to know the fans and you can do that. It’s more personal. I like that and I generally get a good reception.”
“Our goal now has got to be to cement a place in the play-offs. We want to finish as high up as we can. That’s what every team wants to do no matter where you are currently you want to finish higher up and as high as you can. Anything can happen you know if we can keep winning others can lose games and we could still get right up there – it is possible. But home advantage of finishing higher could be important once the play-off games get started.”