Inspirational manager Cooper helps Crawley Down Gatwick punch above their weight

Crawley Down Gatwick manager Paul Cooper.'Picture by Steve Robards
Crawley Down Gatwick manager Paul Cooper.'Picture by Steve Robards

At New Year it is customary to reflect on how the season has gone and is likely to go.

Last season we achieved our aim of staying in the Southern Combination League Premier Division and also reached the RUR Cup final.

This season the target was a top half of the table finish and if possible another cup run.

As we reach 2018 we stand 11th of 20 but with games in hand.

Although we were disappointed to lose to Pagham in the RUR quarter-final we still have a semi-final to look forward to in the Peter Bentley Cup. So satisfactory is the verdict thus far.

We consistently punch above our weight. That is largely down to the tactical nous and motivational ability of manager Paul Cooper and his coaching team.

We have a tremendous team spirit accompanied by an outstanding work ethic. The season has been a heady mixture of highs and lows.

Personally, the highs have included a thrilling away league win at Horsham YMCA and away wins in the Peter Bentley Cup at Three Bridges and at Lancing.

Indeed the 3-0 win at Lancing was possibly the best I have ever seen from a Crawley Down team.

There have been some regrets as well but to quote Ol’ Blue Eyes: ‘too few to mention’.

If granted one wish for 2018 it would be to attract a bigger audience to the Haven.

We have an incredibly loyal group of supporters but more are needed. No previous experience is necessary.