“I’m so pleased for all the players. The way they’ve gone about their business has been terrific - it’s what we strive for”
The young Nailers added the NMFDL South Division title to the League Cup with a win over Borrowash Victoria on Friday night.
It has been an incredible turnaround for Belper side who have gone from finishing bottom last season to champions this campaign.
Tony Taylor has helped coach the young Nailers since the turn of the year, following six years with Burton Albion’s academy.
He has been impressed by what he has seen in the squad and has encouraged each one to push on as they raise the bar once more.
“There are a lot of young lads in the team around 18-20 - but I don’t want the under-21s to be their pinnacle,” said Taylor. “I’d like to see them all push on and see if they can test themselves in the higher echelons of the game.
“I came in with a fresh look on the good things which were already being done by Wynne (Garnett, U21s manager) and the club.
“And the boys have been terrific since I’ve come in. They’ve been really receptive and they are getting their rewards.”
The double was sealed in the Nailers’ last game of the season after the league cancelled their fixture with AFC Mansfield U21s.
Needing just a point to wrap up the league title, there were a few nerves early on in the match before the breakthrough came.
“We knew what we had to do but we were up against a side that the league table says you are superior to,” said Taylor.
“Borrowash are a very good side, they had a really good go and caused us quite a few problems. It took us time to settle.
“It’s all about the first goal and when that came, although they were still in it, it settled us down a little bit more.”
Cup final scorer Sam Birks was the man who broke the deadlock.
He got himself a second and Josh Bullock got the other in a 3-1 victory.
Taylor said: “Sam is a very talented player. He’d been around the academy scene as a younger player so he has the attributes.
“I’m so pleased for all the players. The way they’ve gone about their business has been terrific - it’s what we strive for.
“The big thing for us is how we do it and it’s the way we’ve done things - we try to be functional and play football.”
The Nailers could make it a treble on Wednesday night when they face North winners Handsworth Parramore in a NMFLD showdown.
“They’re a good side with a very good set-up,” added Taylor. “We’re under no illusions about the size of the task ahead.”
Article courtesy of Belper News
Updated 22:43 - 16 May 2017 by David Laughlin