Long Stratton manager Adam Burroughs pleased with record-breaking season
Long Stratton may not have been able to wrap things up with a trophy, but manager Adam Burroughs is nevertheless pleased with how his first full season in charge of the club panned out.
After breaking numerous club records on their way to finishing third in the Hadley & Ottaway Anglian Combination Premier Division, Stratton had the opportunity to end the campaign with some silverware when they took on UEA in the Mummery Cup final last Thursday.
However, goals from Solomon Pope and James Bemrose were not enough on the night for Stratton, who lost the encounter 4-2 after extra-time.
Nevertheless, while it may have been a disappointing conclusion to 2018/19, Burroughs is hoping his team use the experience to drive them on next term.
“It was frustrating to lose the cup final. In the end the fact that they train most days, and the fitness that gives them, made the difference,” he said.
“But overall I am delighted with how the season went. Nobody would have expected us to finish third and reach a cup final.
“We broke a lot of club records together and I am so proud of that achievement.
“A lot of the lads had never played in a cup final before, so it shows them just how close we are and what we are capable of doing.
“Hopefully this gives them the push to go again and win something next season.”
In terms of the summer break, Burroughs has revealed that he is looking to add to his squad.
But it will be two or three players arriving, rather than wholesale changes.
“We will be looking to bring in some players,” he said. “You cannot finish third, lose a cup final and think that there is not any room for improvement.
“It will only be two or three players coming in, we do not need any more than that because the lads we have are committed and want to stay, which is great.
“I already have a great bunch of lads but we were thin on the ground at times during the season. If we want to be challenging we need more players each week.”
One player that Burroughs is eager to keep hold of is striker James Bemrose.
The teenager’s goal in last week’s final was his 33rd of the 2018/19 campaign – one that saw him finish as the leading goalscorer in the Premier Division.
The offers are already flooding in, but Burroughs believes Bemrose would benefit from one more season at Stratton.
“This was his first season as a regular in men’s football and he was fantastic,” added the boss.
“The interest is there obviously but we do not want him to go too high, too quickly.
“Another season playing 90 minutes at a good standard with us will do him the world of good.
“He knows he has our full backing and if he goes two or three games without a goal, we keep faith with him because we know he will come good.
“Higher up that might not always be the case and you can quickly find yourself on the bench.
“It would be great to keep him next year and then after that, once he turns 20, if he wants to kick on then I will do everything that I can to help push him higher.”