Potent Padiham striker Ben Allen believes his decision to pull the plug on his American dream has been fully validated after ending a historic season with a NWC Premier Division winners medal and a Goldon Boot award.
The 22-year-old was the league’s most prolific hitman with 41 goals as he fired the Storks to the title and consequent promotion to the Evo-Stik First Division North.
The former Clitheroe Sixth Form student became a record-breaker during his three-and-a-half year scholarship across the Atlantic, scoring 50 goals for Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
However, Allen was determined to climb the ladder in England and initially teamed up with Steve Wilkes at Ashton Athletic before the pair turned their attentions to the Arbories at the start of the season.
“It was a great day,” beamed Allen. “I’ve never won a league before so it’s great. It’s definitely right up there in my career. I’m ecstatic to get 41 goals and it’s great to have won the league. It’s a great achievement.
“I don’t feel like I’ve created any of the goals myself because everyone around me has been setting them up for me. I can’t take a lot of the credit. We’ve done well as a team. Joe Garvin scored about 15 and everybody else has chipped in.”
Allen added: “Coming back from America to climb the ladder in England has paid off. You don’t want to be turning up just for a game of football, you want to be challenging to get to the next level.”
The club’s crown jewel will undoubtedly be attracting interest from rival managers following his goal-scoring exploits - which included four hat-tricks - but Allen is refusing to let speculation ruin his moment.
“I just want to enjoy this moment,” insisted Allen. “I’m very happy and I’m already looking forward to next season. It’ll be a fantastic experience for us all.”