BROMSGROVE Sporting manager Paul Smith has praised his squad’s work rate all season despite missing out on promotion and two pieces of silverware.
In an exciting Midland League Division One campaign that went down to the wire, Smith’s Rouslers fell just short of securing promotion to the Premier Division after Coventry United won all 11 of their remaining fixtures to win the league with a century of points, nine more than Sporting.
Sporting also missed out on cup success when they lost 3-0 to Midland Premier side Alvechurch in the final of the Worcestershire FA Senior Urn before being edged out 2-1 by Pilkington XXX in the final of the Smedley Crooke Memorial Charity Cup in front of 704 fans at the Victoria Ground.
A goal in each half from Joseph Wykes and Craig Oldfield secured the victory for the Pilks, while Reece Hewitt replied for the Rouslers just past the hour mark.
Despite their failings on Saturday, Smith said there was still plenty of positives to take from the season and praised how well his squad has worked all year.
“I was disappointed with the performance against Pilkington as we didn’t play very well and in a one-off game against anybody, the key to success is playing well and we didn’t,” Smith said.
“Fair play to Pilkington as they worked their socks off and threw everything at it, grafted non-stop, hustled, harried and in the end they wanted it alot more than us.
“That said, this result and this performance I can’t let gloss over what has been a good year on the whole for the club.
“Three runners-up spots is not ideal as it’s not what I set out to do or any of the players set out to do but the squad have worked their socks off and pushed Coventy United close and got to a couple of cup finals so it has been a good season for us.”
With the season now completed, Smith wants to remain at the helm of the Rouslers and he has his eyes set once again on promotion after missing out to Highgate United two years ago followed by Coventry this season.
“First and foremost there will be meetings with the board to see if they want me here, and if they do, I will be fully geared up for going for promotion again,” he added.
“There will be no let up. It was my aim when I arrived here and my eyes have not been took off that aim and I will be doing everything I can to try and get promotion next year.
“I have identified seven players I’d like to bring into the club and of the group I have at the moment, there’s a dozen I’d like to keep.
“Obviously there is the issue with players you want to keep other clubs want to take them so I will try my best to keep them here and attract the players I want.
“If I can keep the group I have in mind and the players I want to bring in, we will be very strong going into next year.”