05:25PM, Saturday 13 May 2017
Maidenhead United captain Alan Massey finally got to lift the National League South trophy this afternoon (Saturday), two weeks after the Magpies confirmed promotion with victory at Margate.
The players, who enjoyed an open top bus parade around the town, disembarked at the town’s library where Massey was handed the trophy by National League officials.
After every player was presented with their league winner’s medal the trophy was held aloft by Massey to raucous cheers from the large crowds that had gathered below - ‘We are the Champions’ by Queen then boomed over the loudspeaker system.
After posing for photos at the amphitheatre next to the library the players hopped back on the bus to take the trophy to Wessex Nursery, Infant and Junior School in Cox Green, which was holding a May fair. The day’s events were set to end with the club’s end of season awards at York Road.
“Yeah it’s finally sinking in that it’s a great achievement by the club,” said Massey.
“It’s brilliant. The crowds have turned up all year for us and they’ve been great. They’ve helped us through so to share it with them today is just brilliant.
“It’s good for the town. It’s good for the club and we’ll just look to progress again next year. It’s great for everyone involved.
The day was made all the sweeter by news that the Magpies’ record goalscorer, Dave Tarpey, had signed a deal to remain at the club next season.
Tarpey is one of three players to have signed in the past 24 hours along with Christian Smith and James Comley. They join the likes of Harry Pritchard, Alan Massey, Dean Inman, Carl Pentney and Sean Marks who’ve already committed their future to the club. More deals with members of the current squad are expected to be confirmed in the coming weeks.
“I wanted to get it done as soon as I could,” said Tarpey.
“I did have some offers from a few clubs which I’ve turned down. I felt it was right to carry on with Maidenhead in the league above. I’ve never played in that league, Maidenhead have never played in that league so yeah I’m hoping for a good season next year.
“It was a hard decision, I think everyone will understand that. But after speaking to Dev, and seeing what he wanted to do next year; the players he’s kept and is bringing in I felt, in my head, it was right to stay and I wanted to stay. Hopefully we can have a good season and prove we are good enough to play in the league above.”
Magpies manager Alan Devonshire, who was unable to make today’s trophy presentation after undergoing a hip operation in hospital this week, is confident of keeping the core of this title winning squad together for next season’s assault on the National League.
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