As manager of Hungerford Town, Ian Herring leads a club with one of the smallest catchment areas in the Vanarama National League.
That The Crusaders – a Hellenic League side as recently as 2009 – continue to punch above their weight in the National League South with a population circa 5,000 people is due in no small part to the clubs manager since 2017.
After a narrow escape from relegation in 2018, the club had it all to do again and achieved a fourth successive season of National League Football next season with a fantastic run of results at the end of the seasons that included a win over champions Torquay United.
And Herring achieved all that while still playing for the club – only hanging up his boots in February 2019.
One nomination reads: “To survive again in the National League South won’t exactly make headlines, but if you knew the context around survival it’s truly remarkable. Lowest budget in the league (probably by a mile), one of the lowest attendances, smallest town in all the national leagues (again probably by a long way) and uncertainty around the clubs future and financial viability to stay in the league, and again Ian pulls it out of the bag and keeps our status again. One of the best form teams post Christmas. An away win at Torquay in the penultimate game of the season when they were having their trophy crowning day…come on! No one expected it but the Saturday before the Monday game I spoke to Ian and he said “I’m sure we’ll beat them there”…confidence in the players, underdog mentality and an extremely talented young manager. Not many (if any) in this league could do what he’s done.”
Another says: “Despite the budget at Hungerford Town Ian Herring has done a remarkable job in steering The Crusaders to survival in the National League South. Their form during the latter part of the season was highly impressive. Such a hard working individual who is a credit to the club.”
Is Ian your manager of the season? Or are there others we should be talking about? Get your votes in for Ian and any other nominations for the Bracknell Football Awards in the form below. You can find out about all the categories here.
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