'I'm so proud of the boys,' says Ely City boss Brady Stone after Robins return to the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division
PUBLISHED: 15:34 25 April 2016 | UPDATED: 16:02 25 April 2016
Ely City boss Brady Stone couldn't hide his pride after the Robins sealed a sensational return to the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division.
Stone’s men secured their passage back to the Thurlow Nunn League’s flagship division with a 2-1 success over Leiston Reserves on Saturday, and the former Robins defender heaped praise on his players after their twelfth straight league win.
“It’s a great feeling,” he said. “We got there in the end and I’m so proud of the boys.
“Relegation last year was really tough to take, but we started pre-season really well and carried the same attitude into the season.”
The Robins surged to their twelfth consecutive triumph through early goals from Craig Neal and Alex Theobald, and despite a spirited fightback from the hosts, Stone’s men showed defensive grit to hold on and seal their rise to the division they dropped out of just one year ago.
Stone said: “It was a tough game. We dominated the first 30 minutes but after that we didn’t really get into their half.
“They’re a good side going forward and [Ely City goalkeeper] Harry Reynolds had to pick the pieces up a few times towards the end.”
The Robins need one more league point from their next two fixtures to secure second place, but Stone says his men won’t be taking their foot off the gas any time soon and expects the Robins to extend their winning run to 15 with two more victories.
“We need to finish the season in a professional way and get the job done,” Stone said. “We’ve only lost two games at home all year, so we want to keep this run going.”
Stone also believes the future of his promotion-clinching squad is bright. The 16 players that have been used this term have an average age of just 20, and the Ely boss says competing in the Premier Division what they deserve after fantastic form.
“It’s a great chance for them to show what they’ve got,” he said. “We want to reward these young lads that have got us there with playing time.”
One of those players is Robins skipper, James Seymour,
The midfield general has led his men from the front this season, netting 16 times, and says that the mixture of youth and experience has been instrumental in the Robins’ success.
Seymour said: “After a difficult season last year, the way we’ve all stuck together is a big part of the success.
“The lads that were with us last season have used their experience well and the new lads have been a breath of fresh air.
“Brady and Martin [Grey, assistant manager] have done a great job managing us game by game and making sure we give our all in every match.
“If we keep our hard working attitude and winning mentality then we’ll be fine in the Premier Division. It’s just a massive relief to be back in the league we should be in and now hopefully we can build on this season.”