It’s been a time for double celebration for Southwell City of late, the winning of the Nottinghamshire Senior League Premier Division coupled with confirmation of promotion to the United Counties Division One, for the 2022-23 season.
A sojourn into Step Six of the non-league pyramid is an exciting prospect for manager Jonny Upton, and everyone at the club, especially after the way in which took the NSL title in the campaign just finished.
Record-breaking it was for the club as well, Upton’s side putting together several, unbeaten runs, on their way to title glory, one which, in all competitions, included a sixteen-match winning streak, between late-October 2021, and mid-March 2022, inclusive of a 9-0 thumping of FC Cavaliers (league) and a 10-1 against Keyworth United Reserves (cup).
Speaking exclusively to the Nottingham Sport, immediately after the announcement of promotion was confirmed, Jonny Upton, manager at the club he served as a player, for the past three seasons, said: “We actually started the season quite slowly, and suffered a few big injuries.
“After that, we just went on a few, big runs; but this is a really good club, with a good changing room full of good lads, no thrills.
“But yes, I’m thrilled to bits that we’ve achieved promotion and, even though we changed grounds during the season, with that being the aim, it’s been like a dunk to water.”
In winning the Euro Soccer NSL by four points, from Stapleford Town, one of just three sides to inflict defeat on the champions (Southwell losing 1-0 away back in March), the step up will see them challenged to the maximum, and against some United Counties regulars as well.
There’ll also be a good few local affairs to look forward for Upton’s side, including clashes with fellow promoted sides, from the Central Midlands League, Newark Town, and Blidworth Welfare.
Upton knows though, he’ll having the backing of the club, whilst also staying true to their core values, and the community from within which they reside.
“The immediate plan is for us to stabilise in the United Counties,” explained Jonny, looking, excitedly, to the coming months.
“There’s been a lot of invested, across the board, at the football club, so it’s nice to be able to give something back.
“What will remain, and we’ll continue to embrace, is the community spirit that is at the club, even though there’s a few, big clubs, to compete with.
“Playing-wise though, the bulk, the core of the side, including those returning from long-term injury, will be staying with us.
“I’ll probably just be looking at adding three or four others, just to add some strength in depth in the squad.”
Now, with pre-season friendlies, against a selection of Step Six and Step Seven clubs to be announced, Jonny had one more thing to say as he readies his side for the 2022-23 campaign.
“We’ll go in there, compete, and do as well as we can.”
*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).
*Main image @jonnybwana Jonny Upton (right) with the NSL Premier Division trophy.