Burgess Hill boss Ian Chapman: ‘This is a massive achievement’

Ian Chapman, Burgess Hill Town FC. Picture by Steve Robards SUS-150113-081949001
Ian Chapman, Burgess Hill Town FC. Picture by Steve Robards SUS-150113-081949001
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Burgess Hill manager Ian Chapman admitted getting over the finishing line to win the league was difficult.

After a dour first half with few chances created on a bobbly surface, It took just one minute into the second half before Pat Harding gave them the lead.

Burgess Hill v Three Bridges. Ian Chapman. Pic Steve Robards SUS-150201-213736001

Burgess Hill v Three Bridges. Ian Chapman. Pic Steve Robards SUS-150201-213736001

Chapman said: “It wasn’t easy; we had to dig in first half and getting the goal early in second half so early settled us down and I think after that we were deservedly winners.

“It was a difficult pitch but the players did what they they’ve done all season and we couldn’t be happier.”

Chapman believes the club’s success this season ranks highly among his list of achievements as a manager and a professional player in the Football League for Brighton & Hove Albion.

“It’s massive. We’ve played 41 games now and for the level of performance to be so good all season is massive and I can’t praise everyone at the club enough for doing so well.”

We’ve played 41 games now and for the level of performance to be so good all season is massive and I can’t praise everyone at the club enough for doing so well.”

Burgess Hill Town manager Ian Chapman

Chapman’s Hillians could still overtake the 107 points against by last season’s champions Peacehaven & Telscombe.

He said: “We’ve games to go and have got to do our jobs for the rest of the season because other clubs are still playing for things.

“We’d like to get some more wins and we’d like to go for the whole season losing just one game - that would be some feat and we’ll be doing our utmost to do that.”

Chapman wants to see their progress maintained next season but has not yet thought out a plan for achieving success in the division above.

He said: “I’ll be talking with my chairman (Kevin Newell) next week to see how we go forward. It’s about keep on improving and moving on.

“It’s been great for the football club. This season has been amazing for how the attendances have doubled, trebled. We’d like to keep on giving them good football.

“This is the first time the club have been in the Ryman Premier and it will be good for the supporters will be able to go to some new grounds they haven’t been to before.

“The side has been in the Ryman South for quite a number of years now. In the first season I was here here we finished eighth and last year we flirted with the Play-offs and never quite made it.

“If you’d asked me at the start of the year I didn’t think we would be where we are now. I thought we’d be one of five or six teams challenging for Play-off positions.

“But we’ve brought in a few additions to the club, some good youth lads have come through and we hit the ground running this season.

“It’s just the momentum, game-by-game we’ve kept on churning the results out. When we haven’t been good this season we’ve been durable and have got results.

“The key to any side winning is even when we haven’t played well we’ve still put points on the board.”