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Hungerford Town boss Danny Robinson is ready for more challenges next season

Crusaders season declared null and void as votes from Step 1 and Step 2 teams were counted

HUNGERFORD Town manager Danny Robinson is now more determined than ever to succeed in the National League South next season after getting a taste of league experience.

The 35-year-old was in the middle of his first season in charge at Bulpit Lane when the campaign was declared null and void last week due to issues with government funding.

It was announced, after voting across the three National League divisions, that the North and South leagues would stop while the Premier league could continue.

It’s the second time that Robinson has been in charge of a club when the season has had to stop, as he was manager of Thatcham Town when they were on course to win the Southern League Division 1 South last year.

He said: “It was hard work starting the season and putting a squad together on the pitch and also hard work making sure we were Covid secure and it now feels like it was all for nothing.

“We were given grants to help us start the season, but now it’s gut-wrenching,” admitted Robinson. “On a personal note, the same thing happened when I was top of the Southern League with Thatcham Town and now it’s happened when I’ve been in the play-off spots with Hungerford.

“I can only think of what might have happened and now it’s time to prepare and focus for next season.”

The Crusaders were having their best season since their debut campaign in 2016, but Robinson knows they have to keep improving.

He said: “At Hungerford, we have built the foundations of a squad that can compete and things at the club won’t change because we’ll have the lowest budget.

“We’ll still have the lowest attendance, but we have the best supporters and we know that when we come back we might be one of the favourites to be relegated.

“Just because we have done what we’ve done, it’s not a foregone conclusion that we’ve arrived in the National League South party.

“It will be harder next season because I think teams will give us a bit more respect.”

Despite the club not likely to return to any action until July – when pre-season begins – Robinson knows that his work won’t stop.

He said: “I will look forward to time off, but I can’t wait to get this wonderful group of players back into pre-season and attacking the league again.

“I have already had players ringing me asking if we can start pre-season training already and that shows you the family and togetherness that we have built and as far as I am in charge, then it’s what I want to continue.”

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