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Hard work starts now as champions Spalding United plan to become ‘force to be reckoned with’





Champions Spalding United won’t be wasting time ‘patting themselves on the back’ after securing promotion - with the club already making plans to become a force next season.

The Tulips thrashed Coleshill Town 8-0 last Saturday to secure the Northern Premier League Midlands title in front of a bumper home crowd of 1,708.

But while the champagne flowed at the Sir Halley Stewart Ground last weekend, club officials were back to the grind soon after, plotting their strategy for the 2024/25 campaign with the Southern League Premier Central their likely - and preferred - destination.

Nathan Stainfield is held aloft by the fans. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Nathan Stainfield is held aloft by the fans. Photo: Chris Lowndes

“We want to make sure our tenure is a successful one. It’s the first time we’ve been at this level but we won’t spend the next few weeks and months patting ourselves on the back, we’re going to roll our sleeves up and get on with the next step,” said CEO Leigh Porter.

“With everything you do in life, when you set the bar high it’s just another record for you to beat and it never gets any lower.

“It’s a wonderful achievement but what it’s done is put us in another league, and it’s another opportunity to impress in that league as well.

Skipper Nathan Stainfield lifts the trophy. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Skipper Nathan Stainfield lifts the trophy. Photo: Chris Lowndes

“We know it’ll be difficult and it’s going to be hard work and it might not happen over night, but we’ll just carry on doing what we’re doing, which is being fully focussed on maximising all the opportunities.”

With Stamford and Halesowen, who won promotion at the expense of Spalding last season, finishing their campaigns in step three in the top half of the table, Porter believes there is every chance United can be pushing for a play-off spot in a year’s time.

“I think we look at every team and think we can upset the apple cart,” he added.

“You look at teams like Stamford, Halesowen and Kettering and teams in that league that are deemed to be bigger than us, and we’re very confident one day we can be up there with them.

“And why can that day not be next season?

“Stamford and Halesowen have shown clubs can go up and be competitive, and we want to be competitive as well.

Four-goal James Clifton is congratulated. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Four-goal James Clifton is congratulated. Photo: Chris Lowndes

“From where the club was two seasons ago to where it is now is testament to our belief in the club and we feel it can be better and bigger still.”

But while Porter and manager Elliot Sandy get back to work, the club CEO says the supporters have every right to spend the summer celebrating what’s been achieved this term, adding that their numbers last weekend have only made the club hierarchy more determined to deliver.

“It’s a day that’s going to stick around forever in regards to being a pivotal moment in what we’re trying to do with the football club,” he said.

Fans get ready for the trophy presentation. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Fans get ready for the trophy presentation. Photo: Chris Lowndes

“We’re very confident about the management and players and the people of Spalding. You expect it to be good and you expect it to be big - but I don’t think we expected it to be that good and that big.

“It’s important the fans enjoy it and hopefully we can have more days like that.

“But for us, it was about asking ‘can we deliver on the pitch and will the local community support us?’ and from that point of view it was a resounding ‘yes’ in both areas.

“It’s very, very encouraging. We’re massively enthusiastic about Spalding United and making them a force to be reckoned with in non league, and that just endorsed there’s something there we can tap into.”



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