VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE – MANAGER OF THE MONTH
Jay Saunders – Maidstone United
Last season was certainly a learning curve for The Stones and brought considerable pressure during their Vanarama National League campaign on their long serving manager Jay Saunders.
By the end of the season, his sixth in charge, he had moved the club away from possible relegation and then he recruited well during the summer months.
September has seen a rich haul of points and at the close the club had moved into a challenging title position finishing the month in 5th with a well-earned victory away at Barrow. But the result which really caught the eye and the headlines was another win on the road at Moss Rose, when Jay engineered a 4 – 1 defeat of high flying Macclesfield Town.
A number of other clubs had similar results but these two away victories tipped the scales to send the award heading off to Kent.
VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE – PLAYER OF THE MONTH
Scott Wilson – Macclesfield Town
September saw the Silken put together a string of important wins taking the club into the highest position they have attained for several seasons in the Vanarama National League.
After being released by Eastleigh at the end of last season striker Scott joined up with John Askey in Cheshire and after taking a while settling in has scored a number of crucial goals, showing his sheer pace and quick reactions to good effect. With all his goals scored from open play he has been able to contribute to aid others with assists and providing open space to create opportunities for others. He now has a chance with a clear run of games, to prove himself as one of the top strikers in the game at this level and the award for September is fully deserved.
VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH – MANAGER OF THE MONTH
Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley – Salford City
It has been a while since joint managers have collected the sponsor’s monthly silverware but no one will surely dispute the award for September going to Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley in the Vanarama National League North.
A lot of things have happened in 2017 for The Ammines in and around their Moor Lane ground and exciting times are certainly on the cards. Having said that both men know the burden lies heavy on their shoulders and they have to deliver the expectation which is running around the club. Certainly without question they have done that in the League in September with important wins against their closest rivals Harrogate Town and Brackley Town. Those two tests have seen a marker lain down to their rivals and the award for them must be proof, if needed, of the start they planned for. Congratulations to both.
VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH – PLAYER OF THE MONTH
Daniel Maguire – Blyth Spartans
His club has taken a while to settle in after winning promotion into the Vanarama National League North this term but September came along with a bang for a club with a tremendous football heritage in the North East.
Blyth Spartans amassed a staggering 17 goals during the month and were involved in the match of the month away at Aggborough, eventually going down 5-4 in an unbelievable encounter when they lost to Kidderminster Harriers.
A hat-trick for Daniel against Boston United in their first home win of the season proved crucial in their good run of form and he weighed in with a personal tally of six goals and constructive team play. His collective for the month took him into double figures in the League for the season so far and will make him a clear contender for fans to follow for the ‘Golden Boot’ come season end. Maguire has also been called up to the England C squad recently.
The North East has seen a resurgence of the game at National League level and The Spartans will always be hard to beat and certainly difficult to stop scoring if Daniel remains fit and focused.
VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE SOUTH – MANAGER OF THE MONTH
Lee Hodges – Truro City
The start of this season in the Vanarama National League South has seen a number of clubs come to the fore and head the table but at the end of September, no one can argue that the White Tigers from The Duchy have surely had a wonderful string of results.
Under the leadership of Lee Hodges they have been unstoppable, playing eight matches and winning every one. Not only has the Club risen to the top of the table with six straight victories they have blown away the opposition in two rounds of the Emirates FA Cup and must fancy their chances of being in amongst the big boys later in that prestigious competition.
A blistering start will be tested in the coming weeks but looking back no one can deny Lee being the top manager rightly selected by the League sponsors.
VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE SOUTH – PLAYER OF THE MONTH
Luke Southwood- Bath City
Several candidates came to the fore in September and it has been a difficult decision to arrive at the player for the Vanarama National League South.
So it must be a first when the League sponsors award goes to a World Cup winner and an England one at that.
In the end it was judged that 19-year-old Luke Southwood, the Bath City keeper, currently on loan from Championship Reading FC and a victorious member of the England U20 squad in South Korea this summer, took the plaudits with some sterling performances, to not only lift them up the table with an unbeaten run in September but to ensure that whilst not too many goals may have been flying in up the other end for The Romans, the very small number of goals which he concedes played a major part. Several of his saves have been stunning.
The big question though is, how does this monthly award look alongside his U20 World Cup medal? It has been hard earned so top marks to him.
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