Every so often, a football club, or any sporting club for that matter, will have a season to remember (or forget as the case sometimes is); with the former, Kimberley Miners Welfare are on the verge of creating one to remember, so we caught up with their captain, Sam Brown.
Having appeared forty times himself, and scoring nine goals, so far this season, Kimberley’s 23-year-old centre-half, and skipper, has been well-placed all season, and witnessed all that has unfolded in front of him – although they’re not quite over the line, yet!
“I signed for the club in late 2019, so this is my first, full season here,” explained Sam.
“We couldn’t have expected anything like this though, and coming here, it was a step up for me (he’d previously had spells with Blidworth, and Linby CW).
“It has been a tough, challenging season, and it’s a very competitive league, from top to bottom.
“We’ve not taken anything for granted though, and just gone about doing our own thing.”
That “doing their own thing” has already seen Kimberley register their best return for over a decade, won 33 of 41 (league) games, and score (well) over a century of goals , whilst posting over a hundred points.
It’s a record that ‘Captain Brown,’ the management, and playing staff, are certainly proud of, but they also know it’s not over yet, there’s still plenty of minutes to overcome before they lift that championship trophy.
Presently on a twelve-match winning streak (nineteen unbeaten in all competitions, exc. void with Aylestone in December), this is their second, lengthy, unbeaten run this campaign –certainly affording value for money.
League-wise, that unbeaten run (Aylestone withstanding) is at twenty-one matches (won nineteen, drawn two), stretching back to the one that, for Sam at least, probably hurt, and disappointed the most, the 1-0 reverse at home to Hinckley, back in mid-November.
The visitors finished with ten that, and snatched the points with a stoppage time winner from substitute Andrew Kear; but it gave Kimberley the boost, the kick up the proverbial backside, they needed.
“Since then (Hinckley, at home), that loss, it hurt us,” stated Sam.
“It hurts us, but it gave us all a much-needed boost, and we’ve been unbeaten since then.
“What we’ve got here, now, is massive, and we’ve got a full squad of players, all getting game-time, and that shows in the togetherness we have – it’s great playing alongside what, in essence, is a bunch of mates.
“Our fitness levels have certainly got us through games, something which kept up during the past two years.”
However, with all they have done on the field this season, all those goals scored, points accrued, it’ll mean nothing if they don’t achieve that last, unexpected, objective, the United Counties Division One championship.
And, with three games still to play, two at home, this Bank Holiday weekend, against Harrowby United, and a local affair with Hucknall Town – could they? And what about another goal from the captain, just for the icing on the cake?
“Up until the (return) Hinckley game, I’d only scored with my head,” smiled Sam, having added two more to his tally in that game alone.
“Then, I surprised everyone, including myself, with a brace, with my feet, in a 3-2 win.
“As I’ve said though, we’ve taken nothing for granted this season, especially as it’s been tough having that target on our backs.
“But we’re not looking ahead until the season is done with, and we know what we have to do until then.
“There’s a tough game on Bank Holiday Monday, in a derby with Hucknall, but we’ve got to get past the Harrowby game first, and they’ve already beaten us this season (3-1 away, in mid-October).
“It’s not over until it’s over, and we’ve still got three games to play, and that starts on Saturday.”
*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).
*Main image @KimberleyMWFC Sam Brown has been instrumental in Kimberley’s recent success.