FEATURE: Selston FC boss on 15-match winning streak, avoiding Eastwood and Hucknall pitfalls and building for the future
As far as winning streaks go, Craig Weston admits it is the best he has ever been involved in as either a player or manager.
Weston, manager of Central Midlands League Division South side Selston, oversaw 15 consecutive victories up until Sherwood Colliery ended the streak recently.
Despite that setback, Weston’s troops sit top of the table in their first season at this level.
And he believes the squad is more than capable of stringing together a similar sequence of results between now and the end of the campaign.
He said: “It was unbelievable to put together a long run of wins.
“But it had to come to an end sooner or later.
“We were over the moon but we’ve got to get ourselves back onto another run now.
“I’m not saying we’ll brush the defeat under the carpet because there was things to learn from the match.
“I’ve been on unbeaten runs before but I think 15 straight wins is the best.
“We were coming into a new league at the start of the year, so if you had offered me that run then I’d have snapped your hand off.
“It is a strong league and you have to take every team seriously, from top to bottom.”
Despite the potential for a league trophy come May, Selston are not eligible for elevation to the next step as they did not enter for promotion at the start of the season.
A number of ground issues were the catalyst for the decision but Weston believes the club is taking sensible steps to protect its long-term future.
He said: “As a club we’re not quite ready for it.
“We’re trying to get a lease on the ground so then we can kick on and get floodlights.
“We took a sidewards move last year and we like this league.
“It’s a better footballing league and there is a lot of good, local derbies so we enjoy it.
“Our main aim is to win the league so as soon as we can we want to get back on a run and see where it takes us.
“I have been involved at clubs before when not applying to go up has took its toll on people.
“One or two players have left clubs but here we have a good, understanding bunch of lads who know where the club is at.
“They do realise that when clubs win promotion two or three years on the trot, sometimes you can get carried away a little bit.
“And then the club hasn’t caught up with the achievements.
“So we’re doing it the right way I think, and in a steady way.
“The club’s getting better and better.”
Weston, who knows the non-league circuit inside out, is adamant the club will not follow in the footsteps of local sides who have plummeted in recent years due to off-the-field issues.
He said: “I went to see Hucknall in the FA Trophy final not too many years ago and now they’re playing in the same league as us.
“They’ve been there and done it, whereas we are a side who are doing well and building ourselves up.
“We’re basically a village side who are doing well with a nucleus of good, young players.
“I don’t want us to lose that local lads ethos.
“I think in local football you need to have local players playing.”
Weston has high hopes for his young squad and he says former Selston player Haydn Hollis, now of Notts County, provides real inspiration whenever he visits the club.
He added: “Haydn comes down quite alot.
“He’s a real nice lad, and whatever he has achieved hasn’t gone to his head.
“It’s good to have him around for the young lads to aspire to.”