FOOTBALL: ‘Future is bright’ at Spalding United
Spalding United’s under-21s will come back even stronger next season, according to development manager Lewis Thorogood.
The Tulips missed out on a place in the grand final after taking runners-up spot in the south section.
They scored 24 goals in five home wins and recorded 8-1 away victories at Harrowby United and Sleaford Sports.
But draws at Grantham Town and Boston Town – plus the 2-1 defeat to Boston United – proved costly.
Thorogood said: “Respect to Boston United for ultimately doing the job and chasing down the target.
“I was impressed with a few of their younger lads so fair play to them.
In our first season, we’ve exceeded expectations with plenty of positives.
“But we have to look at ourselves when we needed one point to take the title.
“We had opportunities but created our own problems in those away games.
“We will learn from this and come back stronger next season.
“The under-21s have given great value to the club. Eight players have made first-team appearances and another two were unused substitutes.
“We’ve played attractive football and scored lots of goals. The future is bright.
“In our first season, we’ve exceeded expectations with plenty of positives.
“The majority of the squad will continue next season as only three lads will be over-age players.
“Hopefully they will step up into the first team on a more regular basis.
“We will go again but the preparation starts now. We have other plans which are being put together now to continue the development.”
Spalding will have a new under-18 elite development team next season in the Lincolnshire Intermediate League and FA Youth Cup.
Meanwhile, the first Tulip Trophy six-a-side tournament will be staged at the Sir Halley Stewart Field over the weekend of May 5 and 6.