CHAIRMAN Mike Burke heaped praise on Bromsgrove Sporting boss Paul Smith after a successful league campaign and says he is a ‘great ambassador’ for the club.
After back-to-back runners-up spots, the Rouslers finally clinched promotion as they ended the Midland League Division One season as ‘invincible’ champions – 19 points clear of second placed AFC Hinckley.
On Saturday, Smith’s men secured the unbeaten record with a 5-0 victory over Lichfield City in front of 1,151 fans at the Victoria Ground.
But Burke admitted Smith had put himself under unnecessary pressure to end the season as ‘invincibles’ and that the Sporting boss is still haunted by losing in the semi-finals of the FA Vase.
“Paul is his own worst critic because he sets himself high standards but it would not have mattered if we had lost our unbeaten record at the weekend,” he said.
“As each game passed by he was getting more stressed about the next one.
“The fans probably would have been disappointed to lose that record on the last day but they would still have been looking at the positives of what has been a remarkable season.
“Even though we got to the semi-finals of the FA Vase, Paul is still disappointed he did not get to Wembley as he feels he has let the fans down.
“But what he has to realise is he has done a fantastic job this season and that he cannot be praised highly enough.”
As well as the success on the pitch, Burke praised Smith for his work behind the scenes to keep the club in touch with the fans.
Smith played a huge part in the selling of FA Vase tickets and is always on hand to show new fans, both young and old, around the ground.
“As a manager Paul does a great job and everybody respects him for that, but he is more than just a manager – he is a great ambassador,” Burke added.
“He loves this club so much that he will go out his way to show new fans around the changing rooms as well as dealing with problems.
“We owe it to Paul to give him the support he needs to get Bromsgrove Sporting as high as possible because this club deserves to be higher than the Midland League Premier Division.
“I will be sitting down with him over the next few days to discuss our plans for the new season and then we will push on from there.”