Burgess Hill boss Ian Chapman has paid tribute to his skipper Darren Budd in today’s match programme.
The Ryman South champions face Whitstable Town in their last home game of the season and the manager, known to all as Chappers, has used his programme notes to sum up the season.
As well as looking ahead to next season and praising his current crop of players, Chappers singled out skipper Budd for praise.
He said: “I wasn’t going to mention any one individual but a player who deserves special praise is my Captain Buddy. When I took over he was my main target and first signing. I made him Club Captain straight away and I feel he has grown massively into the role and been a proper leader on and off the pitch and he deserves to be lifting a trophy this afternoon because he has had 3 terrific season leading our team.”
Chappers’ full programme notes are below:
“Today we welcome Whitstable Town FC to the Green Elephants Stadium for our final home game in what has been an incredible season.
“At the start of the season I felt we had a good chance of making the play offs but the way the players have performed this season has been top draw and they deserve every plaudit sent there way and that is every player - we really could not of got promoted without a squad.
“The last 2 games have been disappointing but I feel we have looked very jaded in these games and hopefully after having a free week and being able to train for the first time in around 2 months we will be back to our energetic selves today.
“There has been countless excellent performances this season in the league and the cups, I’ve never known a group of players who work as hard and would run through brick walls for each other like this group. It’s been an absolute pleasure to work with them all.
“We’ve had a few injuries throughout the year but replacements have come in and got on with things and we have kept to winning ways. As I say I couldn’t pick anyone out all of the players thank you and we’ll done.
Last year Peacehaven walked our league, VCD walked Ryman North - both are fighting to stay up this season, that’s not me being negative that’s me being realisticIan Chapman
“Now to next season and Burgess Hill Town’s first ever season at this standard. It’s important myself included that we do not get too carried away because there a big step up and at the end of next season it’s important that we are still a Ryman Premier side.
“Last year Peacehaven walked our league, VCD walked Ryman North - both are fighting to stay up this season, that’s not me being negative that’s me being realistic. Since I’ve been at the club we have progressed every season, next season we must consolidate have a good look at the league and keep improving year on year.
“What we have done this year is almost freakish when sides do well in the cups their league form usually dips but ours didn’t and that’s why I feel this has been such a standout year at any standard.
“Back to today’s game and hopefully we will finish our home fixtures with a positive result for all our fans who have been terrific this season. To see the crowds each week turning up home and away I assure you it has really helped the players and you have all helped in getting us promoted and I thank each and every one of you.
“Also Tucky and myself would like to say a big thank you too all our coaches (Paul, John, Neil, Armo, Ian and Peter Miles), medical staff Dani and Grace and every player who has put on a Burgess Hill Town shirt - first teamers ,21s or youth.
“Lastly well done to everybody on the non-playing side. There are so many of you who give your time up to help out so everything runs smoothly all year long. Club’s like ours wouldn’t function without you all, and I really hope we have rewarded you for all the time and effort you put in.
“I wasn’t going to mention any one individual but a player who deserves special praise is my Captain Buddy. When I took over he was my main target and first signing. I made him Club Captain straight away and I feel he has grown massively into the role and been a proper leader on and off the pitch and he deserves to be lifting a trophy this afternoon because he has had 3 terrific season leading our team.
“Enjoy today’s game and please all come back next season.”
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