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Devonshire Wins Top Boss Award

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It’s fair to say Maidenhead United and their manager usually enjoy April.

A year ago of course it was the month when the Magpies confirmed the National League South championship and they partied all summer long.

Twelve months on, they ended their first season in The National League’s top flight with some outstanding results to sign off the campaign the perfect way.

Four wins made it impossible to ignore the West Ham legend, who had a little treat for everyone after their final game.

The Stripes signed off the season in style – and a 5-2 win over play-off hopefuls Bromley even brought about a post-match dressing room jig from the veteran manager which soon went viral on social media!

“It’s been a great end to the season, we have really come into our own,” said Devonshire, who collected the award for Manager of the Month for the first time this season.

“We have had a good season and the players have been fantastic. We’ve enjoyed it.”

If Tranmere Rovers are to succeed in the play-offs, they’ll need an in-form Andy Cook. So, it’s good news for Rovers that their star striker is red hot at the moment.

Andy Cook

The forward scored seven goals in the month of April to help Rovers secure second place in the National League table and home advantage in the play-off semi-finals. Not much surprise, then, that he’s been named the National League Player of the Month.

He started the month with the opener in the victory over rivals Chester before scoring all four in the 4-2 win against Gateshead at Prenton Park.

Cook also grabbed the winner in the crucial fixture at Dover Athletic before scoring in the 2-0 success at FC Halifax Town.

Undoubtedly a fan favourite, Cook could write his name into club folklore if he helps them safely navigate the play-offs.

Tony Henderson-Smith has won Volunteer of the Month for April in the National League.

Tony is a long-term supporter of Sutton United having watched his first match in 1959.

Over the years he has been involved in a host of activities at the club.
His first involvement was organising the boys set up at the club which now boasts 26 teams.

Tony is a lifetime member of the supporters’ trust and was instrumental in obtaining Charter Standard Community Status for the club in February 2011, an award which has been renewed every year since.

He was also responsible for writing the club’s Football Development Plan. Tony has also been instrumental in developing and implementing the club’s award-winning community programme with particular reference to the development of female and disability football – he has been awarded Sutton United Clubman of the Year and the McDonalds Volunteer of the Year award by the Surrey FA.

Tony has been the iconic Jenny the Giraffe mascot for many years, visiting schools and attending charity events. His most current project is as Schools’ Liaison Officer working with schools to assist with their sports development.

Nine games inside a month is not easy, even when you have the best resources in football.

So for Chorley to not only tackle such a demanding fixture card, but to come out with it holding a play-off place and the Lancashire Senior Cup shows how well the club have progressed this season.

And that was before Tuesday night’s incredible win at Stockport County in the play-off eliminator!

Matt Jansen guided his Chorley team to league wins over Alfreton, Brackley, Tamworth, Blyth, AFC Telford and Bradford Park Avenue in April.

Matt Jansen

Quite simply, nobody comes close as the Magpies soared.

“The boys have been absolutely outstanding,” said Jansen after he got his hands on his award.

“They have given this everything and deserve the credit which has come their way.”

Bradford Park Avenue knew they needed to produce something very special to make it into the National League North play-offs.

Well, they did just that. Despite starting April with defeat at Chorley, Avenue won their final five games to finish in seventh.

No doubt boss Mark Bower will give his whole team credit but striker Adam Boyes has been instrumental.

Adam Boyes

He got things going, scoring the winner against Leamington before netting a double – including a last-minute winner – to beat Boston United.

The experienced former York City, Barrow and Guiseley forward then grabbed another brace in the 3-1 home victory over title-chasing Harrogate Town.

But he saved his best until last. Needing a win on the final day at Kidderminster to break into the top-seven, Boyes popped up at just the right time.

The predatory striker was on hand to poke into an empty net in the 93rd minute to send Avenue into the play-offs.

Unfortunately, Adam was not able to receive the award this week.

Donna Hamilton of Curzon Ashton has won April’s Volunteer of the Month for the National League North.

Donna plays a massive role with the club’s junior teams, with the girl’s teams in particular, including organising all matches, finances and kit.

On a match day, she helps to organise the match day experience for supporters and also finds and prepares the mascots for first-team home games.

She’s also at the club three nights per week to organise training sessions and running the snack bar on nights when training takes place.

Donna’s passion for the club is shown by spending weekends at junior matches on Saturday mornings and Sunday afternoons.

As well as all her time spent at the club, she is a mum to two children and also works full time.

You would have to have a heart of stone not to feel sympathy for Dartford and their manager Tony Burman.

In any other season – and if one kick had fallen differently last weekend – the club’s players would still be nursing hangovers, and not preparing for the play-offs.

Dartford are not only the form side in the National League South, but the entire country.

Missing out on the title on goal difference because of Havant’s late, late winner at home to Concord Rangers, they had just won their ninth match in a row.

He may not be a champion, but Burman is our Manager of the Month.

They pushed Havant until the final seconds of the final day thanks to April wins over Weston, Gloucester City, Eastbourne, East Thurrock, Bath City and Bognor Regis.

Somehow it wasn’t enough – now he is hoping to avoid any curse the awards bring and take his club back into the National League.

There was really only one name that could have won April’s National League South Player of the Month award.

Scott Fenwick has scored more goals in April than some strikers do in a season and he’s surely running out of space with the match balls he’s been picking up.

The former Hartlepool United forward started the month with back-to-back winning goals against Concord Rangers and Poole Town as Chelmsford looked to secure their play-off place.

Then came the spot kicks. If Gareth Southgate needs a penalty master this summer, he could do worse than taking a look at Fenwick.

He netted three spot-kicks in the 4-2 win over Whitehawk before scoring another three penalties – and four goals overall – in the victory at East Thurrock United.

Dickson ended the regular season with two more goals at Eastbourne Borough to help fire the Clarets to a third-place finish.

Ken Humphrey has won April’s Volunteer of the Month for the National League South.

Ken has been associated with Dartford FC for many years and is a lifelong fan.

He does whatever he can to make a penny for the club, especially when the club lost its ground. This included making items using the club emblem and selling them from his car!

As chairman of the supporters’ association, he organised regular quiz and race nights and car boot fairs – all to raise money to keep the club operating.

Ken has run the club shop for eleven years and is also the unofficial maintenance man at the ground, saving the club tens of thousands of pounds.

He is there every day in any weather, even buying things from his own pocket if they are needed, which is just another example of the way he’s helped to keep the club alive for over twenty years.


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