There’s little doubt about it, the panel’s decision to select January’s National League award winners was the toughest yet.
It may have seemed like a simple selection but with a number of teams bang in form and players on the top of their game, it took days of discussion before we finally got to place trophies in hands.
One man who just couldn’t be overlooked was Dave Challinor.
When he arrived at Stockport County, season two of their big promotion project was already running out of steam.
Ten points adrift of the leaders Boreham Wood, it’s they who now sit on top of the table.
No team has taken more points since he arrived in November, and they started 2022 with a 100 per cent record thanks to wins over Altrincham, Larkhall in the FA Trophy, Eastleigh, Dagenham, Maidenhead and Barnet.
They scored 17 times last month, and it was the relentless winning that ultimately saw off stiff competition from Bromley boss Andy Woodman and Southend’s saviour Kevin Maher.
The Player of the Month was equally as tough for the selectors.
In the end, the goalscoring of Andrew Dallas just couldn’t go unrewarded. He hit the back of the net no fewer than ten times last month – and scored two hat-tricks.
The Solihull Moors man got three against Southport, an incredible five against Dover and also hit the target at Altrincham and Torquay.
It would have been 11 in January had Dallas not had his other effort at Alty eventually credited as an own goal.
He edged out two excellent young players in Stockport County’s Will Collar and Bromley starlet Jude Arthurs to grab the glory.
As you know, we adore the Vanarama Volunteer of the Month award.
Thanks to the competition’s sponsors, it allows us the chance to offer vital recognition to those who give up their time to make their club a better place.
There’s not much Nigel Bunce doesn’t do for Altrincham – and that’s just the way he likes it.
Not only is he the club’s safety officer, there’s not a Covid protocol he doesn’t know how to carry out.
He’s also a steward not just for the Robins, but for Manchester United Ladies’ U21 team, too, when they play at Moss Lane.
But that only scratches that surface.
On his afternoons off from his day job, he can be found sweeping the terraces with so many games going on.
Then on away trips he doubles up as the club’s assistant kit man as well as being the designated Covid officer. Talk about commitment!
Congratulations to all our fantastic winners.
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