18th Nov, 2017

It has been a season of personal pressure, admits Bromsgrove Sporting boss Paul Smith

Craig Gibbons 28th Apr, 2017

BROMSGROVE Sporting boss Paul Smith admitted he has put himself under a lot of pressure this season and will breathe a huge sigh of relief once the summer arrives.

The Midland League Division One champions have savoured on a record-breaking league campaign as well as an history-making FA Vase run which saw the Rouslers reach the semi-finals.

But there is still more to be achieved before the curtain closes down on the 2016/17 campaign as Sporting will hope to be come league ‘Invincibles’ tomorrow (Saturday) when they entertain Lichfield City in the final league match.

Then they can focus on their Smedley Crooke Memorial Charity Cup semi-final against Coton Green the following week.

Despite the success, Smith told the Standard he will be glad to have a break after pressuring himself to secure the league crown after losing out to Coventry United and Highgate United in the last two years.

“I can’t wait to get it all over and done with to be honest,” he said.

“After finishing second in the last two years I have put so much pressure on myself to win this league.

“A lot of sides at the start of the year thought they were going to finish top of the pile so it has been a challenge. But the players have worked hard and hopefully we can get over the unbeaten line so I can breathe a huge sigh of relief.”

Sporting’s charge for an unbeaten league season continued on Wednesday night when they ran out 5-0 winners at Nuneaton Griff.

Jason Cowley grabbed his 40th and 41st goals of the campaign to send Smith’s men into the break 2-0 to the good.

Then three goals in the final four minutes from substitute Chrisi Conway (2) and Alfie Bloomer ensured Sporting made it 19 league wins on the bounce.

And with one game left to keep a zero in the loss column, Smith says the players are fully focused on writing themselves into folklore.

“It would be a shame to lose this record in our last five games, let alone on the final day of the season,” he added.

“But we are not looking at losing our unbeaten season and I am glad that since we have won the league the team has continued to win games of football.

“The players are where they should be at and without being disrespectful, it is going to take a very good Lichfield side to get something from us.

“The lads deserve to end the season unbeaten and to be spoken about in years to come.”

Strikers Conway (away) and Luke Shorthouse (suspended) will miss out on Saturday while midfielder Sam Wills (holiday) is also unavailable.

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