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Chalford chairman Martin Smith insists his club can retain Northern Senior League title

All Areas > Sport > Football

Author: Roger Jackson, Posted: Monday, 5th February 2024, 12:30

Chalford were crowned Northern Senior League Division One champions last season Chalford were crowned Northern Senior League Division One champions last season

Chalford chairman Martin Smith is backing his club’s flagship team to make a late charge in the race for the Northern Senior League Division One title.

Last season’s champions won 2-0 at home to Bredon on Saturday but are still languishing in 10th place in the 16-strong division.

However, that doesn’t tell the full story because Chalford have games in hand on every team above them.

Chalford have played just 14 league games this season – they’ve collected 27 points – and Smith said: “We’ve got four games in hand on the top two [Longlevens Reserves and Dursley Town], if we win those we’re only two points behind them.”

That won’t be easy of course, but there’s no shortage of confidence at Chalford, who went through last season’s league campaign unbeaten, winning 25 of their 28 games.

Ask Smith if he believes they are still in the title race and he declared: “One hundred per cent, it’s always better to be the chaser than being chased.

“We’ve still got to play all the top teams and as they say, anything can happen in football.

“I’ve got massive belief in our players and I’ve got massive belief in our management team.”

The management team – Ben Powell and Ben Newman – have been in charge for the past eight years or so and Chalford have been in and around the top of the division for a number of years now.

They missed out on promotion to the County League last season after losing to Hanham and Avonmouth in the end-of-season play-offs, but getting to the next level is very much the aim for a club who celebrated their centenary back in 1991.

“The Northern Senior League is a good league, every game is a tough game, but we want to get out of it,” said Smith, who has been chairman for the past 18 months.

Chalford travel to fifth-placed Tewkesbury Town on Saturday, a club who have six points more than Chalford but who have also played six games more.

Chalford will be looking for another three points against a team who they beat 4-0 back in October and while that game is very important, it is by no means the only game that the club will be involved in this weekend.

“We’ve got three other teams in the Stroud League and we also run seven youth teams,” said Smith, a former player at the club who is also chairman of the youth section. We’ve got a very good committee.”

And Smith is very optimistic about the future.

“The future is bright, the future is Chalford,” he said.

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