Belper Town FC chairman Alan Benfield has been full of praise for the efforts of manager Peter Duffield, which culminated in promotion for the Nailers to the Northern Premier League for the first time.
Duffield, his team and players bounced back in fine style from the heartache of the play-off semi-final a year ago to beat Mickleover Sports in this season’s play-off final.
Alan Benfield feels the success is just reward for the dedication and hard work shown by Duffield, the 45-year-old former striker with the likes of Sheffield United, Raith Rovers and Darlington, plus his staff and players, particularly since Christmas.
Alan Benfield explained: “I’d like to say thank you to Peter Duffield for the fantastic football that we have seen at Christchurch Meadow this season.
“It was back in October 2011 that our results and prospects for the rest of the season were not looking so good and so we approached Peter about coming in as Belper Town manager.
“Peter had a good pedigree within the league and we decided to offer him the job.
“He has displayed high levels of professionalism and dedication since coming here, and Peter and assistant manager Mick Godber have shown how you should manage at semi-professional level.
“After Christmas, we were forced to tighten our belts at the club and we asked Peter and Mick to cut costs while keeping us competitive, which they did.
“We asked players to take a cut and it was to Peter and Mick’s credit that they accepted this situation, agreed new terms with the players, while keeping the spirit high and bonding the players together for the final successful push for promotion.
“I would like to thank them all for their dedication to Belper Town Football Club.
“The greatest gift that Peter has given us is gaining promotion to the Premier Division and the opportunity to play next season against teams such as Matlock Town, Ilkeston FC, Buxton and FC United of Manchester.
“Peter is very passionate about the game, he talks well to the players and the fans, and is a great guy, well respected both at the club and within football generally.
“The promotion has done wonders for the profile of the club and we are hoping that we can have the same high level of support that we have enjoyed in the promotion season. We thank Peter for what he has done for us so far. He deserves the success he has achieved for us, for his dedication and hard work for Belper Town FC.”
Meanwhile, the Nailers will play host to Chesterfield and Sheffield United in pre-season friendlies.
The Spireites will visit Christchurch Meadow on Saturday, July 19, (3pm) with the Blades putting in an appearance on Friday, July 25 (7.30pm).
Other pre-season friendlies, both home and away, are currently being organised and will be announced shortly.