It’s time to unveil the Vanarama National League Manager and Player of the Month for January and it’s two people who really set the standard for the start of 2023.
Phil Parkinson’s Wrexham were the only team with a 100% league record despite playing just one of their four league games at the fortress Racecourse.
The Dragons were on and off the top of the division last month, but that was to do with Notts County being simply relentless – and nothing to do with them!
It wasn’t just about the league of course, impressively beating Championship side Coventry City in the FA Cup before forcing a replay with Championship high-fliers Sheffield United, even if they did feel it was a chance wasted.
Parkinson’s team kicked-off January by winning at Solihull Moors before that epic trip to the Ricoh.
They then beat stubborn Bromley in front of the BT Sport cameras and ended the month by seeing off struggling Maidstone United and Gateshead on the road.
Only their title rivals had scored more goals in the league at the end of January, but Wrexham had the best defensive record.
Parkinson collects the gong and hopes it’s just the start of a big year at the Welsh club.
Inih Effiong was so good in January that it convinced a promotion chaser to invest in his services.
The big striker’s sensational few months for Aldershot Town alerted Dagenham & Redbridge last weekend – and he scored twice on his first start for Daryl McMahon.
It was a mixed month for the Shots who started 2023 with three straight defeats before their results really picked up.
He scored no fewer than seven times in eight games, including a stunning hat-trick against Maidstone and a double against Solihull Moors.
Effiong also hit the target against Woking and Oldham Athletic in a month to remember.
He may be gone but his parting gift was goals – and without them, Aldershot would be six points worse off, sitting just outside the relegation zone.
Congratulations to both the big winners!
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