Football legend Jimmy Greaves said many times that football is a funny old game.
It certainly is the case when you reflect on Padiham FC’s 2010/11 season. Walking off Victory Park, Barnoldswick, on October 12th, having witnessed Padiham’s six successive reverses, who would have thought the Storks would only taste defeat four times in their remaining 28 league games?
It certainly has been a season of rapid progress for Craig Chadwick’s men. Fourth position is a fantastic achievement and enormous credit goes to Chadwick and his backroom staff.
There have been many eye-catching performances over the season. However, what was most noticeable to me was the consistency of “the spine” of the side.
Keeper Sean Davis is arguably the best keeper in the division. In the centre of defence John Blackley and Kieran Fletcher have forged a rock solid partnership.. In midfield captain Martin Parkes has been tremendous. Parkes is a skilful, no- nonsense, up and at ‘em, sleeves rolled up battler. The type any manager would want in his team.
Up front Paul Fildes has terrorised defences on a regular basis. His return of 26 goals is excellent, especially having missed games through injury and indeed suspension. Fildes has that extra quality at this level. He possesses that element of surprise for defences. Always capable of producing the unexpected. Hopefully, Fildesy will continue banging in the goals for us next season.
Finally, can I just thank all the people at the Arbories who make the club a pleasure to visit. The facility is a credit to the town. It is so satisfying when away fans regularly comment on it always being a pleasure visiting the ground.
Good luck for 2011/12. You have deserved it.