It’s an incredible achievement for everyone involved, says title-winning Sevenoaks Town boss Micky Collins

Sunday 29th April 2018

SEVENOAKS TOWN manager Micky Collins says it’s an incredible achievement to guide his little club to the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division title for the first time yesterday.

The Oaks sealed the title after coming away from Crayford with a 2-1 win over an Erith Town side that can only finish their campaign in the bottom four.

Sevenoaks Town celebrate winning the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division title.
Photo: Alan Coomes

Collins’ men lifted the crown in their penultimate game with 85 points from 37 games and will be joined in the Bostik League by runners-up Whitstable Town, who travel to Lordswood tomorrow night with 79 points.

Crowborough Athletic miss out for a second successive season, finishing in third-place (currently on 72 points), while Beckenham Town finish in fourth-place.

Frankie Sawyer and Kenny Pogue scored the goals and with Whitstable Town’s impressive 27-match unbeaten run crashing down with a 2-1 defeat at Cray Valley, Sevenoaks claimed their first title at this level.

“Fantastic day, you don’t get bigger days than that in football at times and it’s an incredible achievement for everyone involved,” said Collins.

“That’s the crux of it, the fact that it’s a little club that we’ve taken from nowhere and in four years turned it around and then not only gone up as league but to actually win the title as well, was incredible.

“I thought the way Erith Town behaved yesterday was impeccable.  It was fantastic they supported us.  They made it a tough game but the way they conducted themselves as a club was just class.  I was very, very impressed with them. They gave me a nice card and a bottle of champagne after we secured it.

“The players and the management and everyone involved with that club need a big thank you because they made it a very special day for us when they didn’t have to.  Even though it was my former club, it was nice of them and that should go on record.”

Sevenoaks Town used to be an also-ran in the division but bringing in Paul Lansdale as chairman has turned the fortunes around at Greatness Park.

“You look at it from the managers point of view and you get a lot of plaudits but it’s a lot of people who put in a lot of effort into the club to make it where it is,” said Collins.

“When I took over Paul wanted me to do what we did yesterday and we had a game plan and we knew it wouldn’t happen overnight but it’s taken a year longer than I thought actually. 

“We’ve gone eighth, fifth and third and thrown a cup in with that as well. It’s great.  As a manager you always want to aim to win league titles and the fact that I’ve done it there was quite a special moment.”

Next season it will be the first time that Collins will manage in the Isthmian League because he quit Erith & Belvedere days after winning the old Kent League title and Cup in 2013.

“Either I’m a very lucky manager, whatever way you want to look at it.  It’s quite funny, I went back to the club to have a drink and a bite to eat and I walked in with the trophy and everyone gave us a big applause and I said in the words of Britney Spears “Oops, I’ve did it again!”, and it’s quite incredible.

“But you’ve got to have the backroom staff.  John Wilfort and Julian Leigh have been with me a while and everyone puts this great effort in. 

“None of that is possible unless you have a man that guides the club and that’s not me - so you have to look at how you build your club.  We’ve built it in a way where we make it financially stable with the 3G pitch and that’s paid dividends with what you’re doing off the pitch has a reflection on it.

“What I do is put a team together as best I can and get results and I’m fortunate as a manager that I tend to get results.”

Collins has revealed that he will make changes to his side for Monday night’s trip to Crowborough Athletic on the final night of the Southern Counties East Football League season.

“We’ll go and enjoy it,” he said.

“We’ll be respectful to Crowborough and they were unfortunate this year.  Crowborough are a good club and we’ll go there tomorrow and be respectful the fact that we’re going there as champions and we’ll make it a bit different and put some of the people who haven’t played and we’ll go out and enjoy our night.

“We can go with no pressure on the boys and the boys have delivered it again for me, which they have done all season. 

“The proof is in the pudding. I’ve always said it league titles are not cups, you don’t win them over one game on a Saturday.  There’s 38 games in a season and that’s why the team that finish top and picks up the trophy is the deserved team to do it and yesterday proves it and we are the right team to have won that league title.”

Visit Sevenoaks Town’s website:

Crowborough Athletic  v  Sevenoaks Town
Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division
Monday 30 April 2018
Kick Off 7:45pm
At Crowborough Community Stadium, Fermor Road, Crowborough, East Sussex TN6 3BU