Checkley reflects as Buckingham Athletic secure top eight finish

Simon King scored Buckingham's third against Hillingdon. Picture by Jake McNulty
Simon King scored Buckingham's third against Hillingdon. Picture by Jake McNulty
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Chairman Tony Checkley feels Buckingham Athletic’s successful campaign proves the club are ‘heading in the right direction’ after they secured a top eight finish in South Midlands League Division One.

Athletic ended the season with a busy fortnight as they won two and lost two to finish their campaign with 58 points.

A superb goal from Jamie Carter, who lashed in a controlled volleyed, handed Buckingham all three points against Hatfield but despite goals for Matt Cruse and Carter, Athletic then lost 3-2 at New Bradwell.

They then played twice over the Bank Holiday weekend, first beating Hillingdon Borough 3-1 through goals from Cruse and Simon King, before they lost 2-0 at Wodson Park on Monday.

Reflecting on the season, Checkley said: “From a football perspective I have to send out congratulations to Mark Carter and his coaching team who picked up a difficult challenge at the start of the season and have pulled together a fantastic group of youngsters with a good mix of experience.

“After a slow start they have grown into a team that at times plays football way above their years and a top eight spot is very satisfying considering where we were at the beginning of the season but I am sure I am not the only person at the club thinking of what might have been.

“If our run after Christmas had only started a little earlier a top six spot may well have been guaranteed and who knows could well have been pushing for a higher position.

“I also have to send my thanks and congratulations to our reserve team manager Matt Walker and his backroom team.

“Matt stepped into the position at the last minute and for virtually the whole season the team has sat in the number one position and only in the last few weeks have they been caught – on Tuesday they claimed a 7-2 win over Mursley to finish a well-deserved runners-up.

“The youth team, under the guidance of Micky Marshall, had a tremendous start to the season and looked as though we may well push for honours.

“However, as always with so many postponements, it has been difficult for him to get any consistency – weeks without playing does cause issues, but well done to them all as they will still finish the league in a healthy position and it has once again shown that the future of the club looks good.

“For a number of years we have concentrated in redeveloping the club facilities but we are now in a position to try and move the football side forward - I hope this season shows to everybody involved in the club that we are heading in the right direction.”