Castle’s dilemma at choice of player of the year following positive season

Royston Town manager Steve Castle on the touchline. Picture: DANNY LOO

Royston Town manager Steve Castle on the touchline. Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

Despite the disappointment of the season ending early and the what if thoughts, Royston Town manager Steve Castle says any memories of the season that never was should be positive.

Speaking in his end of season blog on the Crows’ website, the boss was very much for keeping things upbeat.

Royston were second in the Southern League Premier Division Central when the season was first suspended and then voided and had also reached the quarter-finals of the FA Trophy.

He said: “I really do feel that we were on a roll and at the very worst we would have stayed in the play-off positions.

“But all assumptions aside I really want to keep everything upbeat because that’s what the season was mostly about so why change now.

“I don’t know if we will or won’t be able to hold an end of season player of the year evening but I suppose in some ways not having a presentation evening saves me from my biggest dilemma – who to pick.

“For me, all of the lads contributed to a fantastic season and to pick one out would have been very unfair. In every position, they excelled.

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“Both goalkeepers, Joe Welch and Harry Smart, kept the goals against down to 28 which is brilliant and they both contributed in the cup runs, notably Harry against Chester and Joe against Ebbsfleet.

“At right back it was generally Gus Scott-Morris and Ed Asafu-Adjaye occupied this role, although we did start the season with a five at the back so the role was slightly different. They also both went into midfield and performed equally efficiently.

“Left-back was slightly tricky. We took on Luke Warner-Eley who was looking to come back and prove a point and we got offered James Brighton who had been a target of ours.

“He was at Kettering but not playing as much as he liked and he lives in Royston so we also took him on.

“All of the centre-backs, Adam Crowther, Harold Joseph, Ed occasionally, Daniel Brathwaite, Ben Martin, Muz and eventually Taylor Parr, have had different journeys this year but the level of performance they all displayed was so high, it was arguably our strongest area of the field.

“All were amazing and so solid whoever played.

“In midfield we had Harold, Danny Green, Scott Bridges, Josh Castiglione on occasions and Claudio Ofosu.

“Adam Watkins joined us early in the year and with Spyros Mentis coming back from Greece late it made for another very strong and mobile area.

“There was also the very late arrival of Anderson Pinto and whether we went with a two or a three in midfield, yet again we were very strong.

“Forwards Matt Bateman, Brandon Adams, Claudio, Josh Oyinsan, Josh C and Murray, when needed, was a powerful, hard-working and productive frontline.

“We shouldn’t forgetting big Ryan Ingrey who although he had numerous injuries was with the squad at times.

“A mention must also go to Luke Knight and Tom Newman who went to play first-team games elsewhere and flourished when fit.

“And the staff have worked equally hard to achieve the same high performance.

“[Assistant manager] Chris Watters who has been spot on tactically so often. Aaron Benstead [sports therapist] who in my opinion is one of the best in his field, certainly at our level.

“Scott Taylor has kept the boys’ fitness levels up to the required standard and also worked one-to-one with certain players to up their game.

“Lastly Tom our very enthusiastic kit man. Boy, has he has had some celebrating after games this year.

“So now you can see my dilemma. All deserve an accolade.”

Castle has also been busy working with Lewis Endacott on the pitch as the club’s regular groundsmen Mick Toovey and Barry Bradshaw “are at high risk and have to self isolate”.

The manager finished by saying: “Obviously we’ll still keep in touch and if things change then we can start to look forward more positively than at the moment.”