There aren’t many times a team achieves over 100 points in a season and Banbury United know that they are living the dream.
The Puritans stormed to the Pitching In Southern Football League Premier Division Central title with 102 points and were named as the SK Kits Team of the Year at the 2022 National Game Awards.
Andy Wing’s men won the league by 23 points and now chairman Ronnie Johnson credits the award to everyone who works at the club, on and off the pitch.
“I’m so proud to be here today to receive it,” said Johnson. “It’s been an incredible season.
“The accolade to Andy Wing, his management team and everyone involved in the club is just massive.
“It was a dream season. There’s not many times you’ll get this in a season and we’re loving the idea that we’ve got out of step three and the challenge of step two is ahead.”
Banbury romped home despite not being one of the more fancied sides to win promotion at the start of the season, and Johnson praised strong recruitment and a relentless in the side.
“Coming off the back end of Covid, we seemed to come out hitting the ground running and we hit form very early on,” said Johnson.
“A lot of the bigger clubs in the league, they seemed to struggle in the early stages and we were able to really get a bit of a lead.
“The recruitment was good and once the confidence was there it went from good to better.
“It came to Christmas and it was as if we were given an extra 10 points – we won the games over the Christmas period and all the teams up there with us were losing.
“We just carried on, the confidence was booming. Andy Wing and his management team got his players playing very attacking and not giving many goals away either.
“Even when we won the league, we kept going, it was an absolutely fantastic season.”
The Puritans will now make the step up to the National League North, and Johnson is looking forward to mixing it with even bigger clubs.
“The aim is to win every game – there’s a dream for you,” joked Johnson.
“The target is certainly to stay in the league, we are going in there to do the best we can.
“We hope to retain most of the squad from last year and those guys did so well last year they deserve a chance. If they can get the confidence, I think they can do well.
“We feel confident but we’re not on the level of some of those clubs, quite simply, but we will go up there and give them a good challenge.”
This copy is courtesy of The Non-League Paper, which is the only paper that covers Non-League football from top to bottom - from the National League down to grass roots. It is the recognised authority on non-league football. Available every Sunday, in newsagents and supermarkets nationwide, or subscribe online at www.thenonleaguefootballpaper.com