Hungerford Town co-manager Jon Boardman points the way
HUNGERFORD’S rookie management team are relishing the opportunity to pit their wits against the best in the Vanarama National League South.
Jon Boardman and Ian Herring stepped in to take the reins following Bobby Wilkinson’s move to Wealdstone earlier in the season.
And, although the pair were thrown in at the deep end, they are both enjoying the challenge.
Boardman said: “It was very busy when we took over – several players and staff moved on as well.
“But since then, the players have been unbelievable with their hard work and support.
“It is a challenge going from player to manager because we have a lot of mates in the dressing room.
“But that can be a positive thing as you know them inside out and what makes them tick and I hope it makes us more approachable.
“You have got to keep your distance to a certain extent.
“The players have also had to adapt and some of them have had to step up and take more responsibility.
“But ever since we took over the players have worked their socks off and given 100 per cent in every training session and match.”
It’s testament to the work of Boardman and Herring that there has been no significant dip in Crusaders’ form since the shock departure of Wilkinson.
And Saturday’s terrific 2-1 win at in-form Hemel Hempstead made it three wins out of four in the league.
Hungerford ended Hemel’s 12-match unbeaten run and pulled themselves 11 points clear of the danger zone.
A mistake from keeper Marcus Beauchamp let Hemel take the lead direct from a corner, but goals from Nicholas Bignall and Luke Hopper earned Town all three points.
Boardman said: “Marcus has been brilliant for us, and it shows his character that he put the mistake behind him and made a couple of unbelievable saves at the end.”
Crusaders face another test on Saturday when they travel to another of the play-off hopefuls, Hampton and Richmond.
Boardman said: “They are always well-drilled and fit so it will be a tough game.
“They will be expecting to win, but if we play to our potential then we can beat anyone in the league.”
n Anton Rodgers, son of Celtic boss Brendan, has left the club to allow him to find regular playing time elsewhere.