Poppies’ title success opens up opportunities

Kettering Town sealed their promotion to Vanarama National League North
Kettering Town sealed their promotion to Vanarama National League North

Chairman David Mahoney believes Kettering Town’s title success has opened “challenges and opportunities” for the club.

The Poppies were crowned Evo-Stik League South Premier Division Central champions with three games to spare after Rhys Hoenes’ 20th goal of the season in all competitions sealed a 1-0 success at Halesowen Town last weekend.
They are now set to return to the Vanarama National League North for the first time in 11 years.
And Mahoney was left overwhelmed as the celebrations began in the West Midlands.
The title party will be in full flow when the Poppies return home to take on Barwell at Latimer Park on Saturday before the head to AFC Rushden & Diamonds for a local derby clash on Monday.
Mahoney was full of praise for manager Marcus Law and the players after a dominant campaign and he is now hoping everyone can relax for the final three matches before the serious planning for life at a higher level begins.
The Kettering chairman said: “It took us a while to get there but we finally crossed the line!
“It was a weird feeling to be honest, it was difficult to take it all in.
“It has opened up a whole host of challenges and opportunities but I am just so pleased for Marcus, the fans, the players and the club as a whole.
“We have been talking about things all the way along and when there was a setback and we heard a bit of negativity, all it did was show the expectations of everyone.
“There has been a lot of pressure on Marcus and the players but it is a season-long event and over the course of that season, I genuinely think we deserve it.
“We assume it will the National League North and we have been looking at the travel and the arrangements it will involve.
“There are a few headaches in there but these are headaches that we don’t mind having.
“We are just going to enjoy the rest of this season. Hopefully the guys can relax a bit. I think we were a bit nervy in the last couple of games, which was to be expected.
“But they have done their job and now the party can start.”