Football: Champions Dronfield await Northern Counties decision

Dronfield Town v Glapwell
Dronfield Town v Glapwell

Dronfield Town will soon learn if their application to play in the Northern Counties East League has been successful.

The league will make its decision on whether to accept the Central Midlands champions at its AGM on Saturday evening (June 8).

The NCEL have two spaces to be filled in Division One after two teams were promoted, one relegated and the other switching leagues.

The Stonelow side are on track to meet the requirements set out by the league, which will soon see floodlights fully installed.

And Dronfield manager Craig Butler said the progress the club has made over the past decade has been nothing short of remarkable.

He said: “We’ve been through three divisions in the Hope Valley leagues, two divisions in the Midlands Alliance and two in Central Midlands.

“I’ve never known a team to make that type of progress during such a short space of time.”

Dronfield went into the last game of the season needing a point to win the title just 12 months after they saw it slip through their fingers in a similar situation last time out.

Then, second-placed Dronfield played Westella, themselves in third, knowing three points would be good enough for either side to snatch the title from the clutches of Thoresby.

A 1-0 defeat saw Westella leapfrog Dronfield on the final day of the 2011/12 season to win the Central Midlands title.

And Butler said the disappointment helped fuel his team’s desire to finish the job this time around - when they beat Easington 6-0.

“It made it more rewarding,” added Butler. “That bitter pain of losing drove us on this season.

“If I’m honest, as a club, I didn’t think we were ready for it last year. We wouldn’t have got the funding we needed for the ground for us to get there for one.

“We needed to get things right behind the scenes as well as on the pitch. It was a wake up call.”