Binfield Award Winner Seeks Title - 7 June
Defender Ben Sturgess is ready to help Binfield mount a challenge for the Hellenic Premier Division title next season.
The 26-year-old full-back capped off a fine first season with the Moles by receiving the manager’s player of the year award when the club held its end of season presentation evening last Friday night. He was also named player of the season by supporters at Hill Farm Lane, an accolade he shared with midfielder Joel Havermans.
Sturgess, who joined the club from league rivals Holyport in 2012, played in all but 90 seconds of Binfield’s 45 league and cup fixtures last season. His only time off the field was when he was substituted injured during the dying moments of the 2-1 Hellenic Challenge Cup defeat at Brimscombe & Thrupp in mid-February. Having helped the side to a third place finish last term, the highest finish of any club’s in the local area, the ever-present player is now determined to play his part in guiding the side to step four football.
He said: “I have won the odd thing in football, but nothing like what the lads experienced the season before when they won a cup treble. I want to be part of that and feel I can do it here – I think we can win the league and I want to help take the club to the next level.I enjoy being here and want to be at a club like this. The people are as good as gold and treat you with the respect you deserve. I am just buzzing about next season and looking forward to some exciting times at this club.”
Sturgess believes as many as eight teams could be battling with Binfield for top spot in 2013/14. He does not, however, believe the competition will be as one sided as last year, which saw Marlow romp to the title at the first attempt. They finished 16 points clear of closest rivals Wantage Town, with Binfield 25 points adrift in third.
“I expect Wantage, Ascot United, Oxford City Nomads and Flackwell Heath to be strong, and I’m sure Ardley United will be up there as well,” Sturgess explained. “I think there will be eight or nine teams fighting for that top spot and it will be an exciting league next year. Some people have said the league will not be that strong, but having played in it for the last three years I know there is some real quality in there and plenty of teams with high standards.= Marlow won the league by an absolute canter last year, but I cannot see that happening again this time. With one or two new additions, and Roger Herridge coming in from Wokingham & Emmbrook, I cannot see why we cannot be there or thereabouts at the end of the season.”
Speaking about his personal achievements on the pitch over the last 12 months, Sturgess explained how the highlight was the 5-2 FA Vase second round victory at Deal Town back in November. “The whole experience of the Deal game was amazing; going down on the Friday night and doing things properly, I cannot knock the club for that. It was probably our best performance of the season for me and just left everyone on an absolute high.”
Speaking about his awards, he added: “I am absolutely over the moon. You don’t expect to win anything and I came away with two awards. I thoroughly enjoyed my season and to play pretty much every minute of every game this season is probably one of best moments in football.”
Seb Bowerman rounded off a fine debut season with Binfield by scooping the club’s players’ player of the year award. The 17-year-old, who has worked his was up the ranks at Hill Farm Lane, proved to be a real handful for opposing defences in 2012/13 through his skill and direct running. Not only did the winger establish himself as a first-team regular, but he marked his arrival on the Hellenic Premier Division scene with 10 goals in 40 appearances.
Other winners at the awards evening on Friday included Carl Davies , who picked up the top scorer accolade having netted 17 times before departing for Evo Stick Southern League outfit Hungerford Town. Goal of the season went to Jos Miller , whose speculative effort on the turn during the 2-0 victory at Ascot in April pipped Callum Whitty’s overhead kick at Cheltenham Saracens to the prize. Callum Whitty was recognised for making 300 appearances for the club, while Carl Withers was named player of the month for April.