CHARD Town manager Paul Down has agreed to continue his duties next season, along with the current management team.

Down and his team started just 12 days before the opening match of last season at Radstock and did a remarkable job – 10 of the side who began the opening match were still in Down’s 18-man squad over the campaign.

Down hopes to add a local coach for next season and has scheduled pre-season training to start in early July.

He said: “Given the circumstances last summer and the late appointment of a management team/players, a 10th-placed finish [out of 22 teams in the Toolstation Western League First Division] was more than the club could have expected at the start of the year.

“We blooded a lot of inexperienced players at this level who developed and improved as the season unfolded.

“I’m hoping they can improve further next season and aim for the top six.

“To finish as winners of the Axminster Hospital Cup was reward for the club’s efforts on and off the pitch.”

At the club presentation evening last Saturday, the awards winners were:
Manager’s Player of the Year: Taoufik Ben Salem
Players’ Player of the Year: Kieran Bailey
Supporters’ Player of the Year: Brad Miles
Top Goalscorer: James Boyland
Chairman’s (Lyndsay Gage) Clubman of the Year: Max Westlake


ILMINSTER Town had already secured promotion from Somerset County Division 1 West, and now they have been confirmed as champions.

With Portishead Town fielding a suspended player for a number of games, the Somerset County League management committee deducted them 12 points, and when the Somerset FA upheld the decision, Ilminster Town, who finished 10 points behind Portishead, were crowned champions.

Boss Jason Manley, in his first season at the helm, has created an exciting team, scoring 58 goals in their 24 league matches and only conceding 29.

Taylor Jefferson was top goal scorer with 19; Darren Brown and Jack Male made the most appearances – 29 each.

Manley said: “It is tough on Portishead but we are delighted, and there will be a party at The Archie Gooch Pavilion on Saturday at our presentation night when we pick up the trophy.”