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First Team

January Manager of the Month

Posted by Kelly Gilchrist
Posted on Wed 8 Feb 2017
Posted in First Team

January has been a stand out month in the world of football with the exploits of two Vanarama National clubs in the Emirates FA Cup taking up many column inches in the written press together with radio and television headlines. With historic records almost tumbling in every match played and a resurgence in the magic of the competition due to the success of both Lincoln City and Sutton United, the League sponsors wish to recognise the tremendous efforts of everyone connected and involved with both clubs. Whilst of course the plaudits will rightly focus on their respective managers and players basking in the limelight of the worlds press, the achievements in reaching the 5th Round along with the gratitude of loyal fans, it should be made crystal clear that everyone in both clubs have had to step up and match not just the opposition on the field but also the gallant effort of many staff associated from top to bottom with all the extra and demanding work which has had to be undertaken to make each match – home or away – run smoothly. Recognising both clubs with these special awards is a tangible reminder that those efforts are duly honoured. Congratulations and well done to everyone.

John Still – Dagenham & Redbridge

Media wise the Vanarama National has been taking a back seat due to the headlines generated by the FA Cup in January. Nevertheless one seasoned campaigner has been meticulously planning to win crucial games to maintain his clubs challenge for automatic promotion. Though due to the weather only able to play three matches, the Daggers won all three without conceding a goal and with the most important of those the away victory at Tranmere Rovers, which certainly ensures they remain a serious threat to the other clubs around them. John Still knows what is needed to mould such a resilient squad and on a limited budget. Ignore him at your peril.

John RooneyΒ  – Wrexham

The Red Dragons have during the month maintained steady progress on the field and moved up the table after early season setbacks. If they can maintain the consistent form they have produced in the Vanarama National in January, they could still be a late arrival on the promotion scene for an outside Play Off spot. The ability to keep going to the final whistle must be part of the mentality which has to exist to snatch a vital draw or that much needed win when minds and energy levels are under stress and strains of competitive football. 26 yr old John has kept focused since his summer move to North Wales and not only scored a number of key goals, importantly he has driven his team mates on to making them believe a challenge can be launched. With three months left in the season much will be determined by attitude, passion and a desire to succeed against the odds.


Billy Heath – FC Halifax Town

With the weather and the FA Trophy causing a number of differing coMBinations in games played and no one club securing a 100% record in the month, it was a close run thing for the monthly award in the Vanarama North.

Several managers have done well and there have been some notable results across the whole of the division. None made people sit up more and take notice than the Shaymen win over Salford City, who themselves are on a strong run in the Play Off positions. Billy was brought in to try and take the West Yorkshire club back into the National division and January has proved that he can motivate his players to fulfill that desire. Can they push on?


Michael Nottingham – Salford City

Salford City have been making quite a statement of late and seeing the ground improvements taking place at Moor Lane must be a constant daily reminder to the players of the aMBitions at the heart of the club. For the investment off the field to be matched on the field there must be a consistent approach to each match. The Reds, in their efforts to take another step up, have had to meet many challenges in the Vanarama North and with a player amongst them being a winner of that very title last season this is also a constant reminder of what levels must be attained. Michael has set a personal benchmark during January to drive the players onto making the dream a reality come the end of the season. Very much similar to the drive he demonstrates from his defensive position in matches. What a ‘double’ that would be for him come May for the 27 yr old.

Daryl McMahon – Ebbsfleet United
Whilst The Fleet like others in the Vanarama South current Play Offs positions are all striving to catch leaders Maidenhead United, if any club is to claw back the deficit then the Kent club does have the infrastructure in place on and off the field to make it. January has thrown up a number of difficult games and Daryl this time around knows that his squad must hit the ground every month if the target of promotion is to be achieved come season end. A 100% league record in the month has been a very creditable platform on which to build towards the dream and he has generated belief in his players to be part of that. Success is a team game.


Ian Herring – Hungerford Town

In their first season at this level The Crusaders have surprised many with a number of solid team performances and they are certainly relishing the challenge of the Vanarama South which has taken the Berkshire outfit into and around the Play Off spots. Everyone knows at Bulpit Lane that their first priority is off the field to meet grading standards but if they are going to meet those deadlines then creating a successful playing environment is in part likely to lead to new financial investment. Making headlines attracts attention.

Leadership is a main reason why they have maintained a strong position and having an experienced skipper is a key to their current success.

Ian, just a few days short of his 33rd birthday,Β  has been in the game for a number of years and is often on hand with his robust style of individual midfield play or to have a calming influence on and off the field when it matters. The player award this month recognises his personal efforts. Well done.

Read more posts by Kelly Gilchrist