FC boss wants promotion tilt after enjoyable debut season

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Aylesbury FC boss Craig Faulconbridge said he was pleased with his debut season as a manager and now has his sights on promotion.

The player-manager took over the reigns at Haywood Way in the summer after Steve Smith left following a season where the Moles just escaped relegation from the Evo-Stik League Southern - Division One Central.

And the former Dunfermline striker has led the club to a creditable 12th placed finish.

“It’s changed my perspective on everything being a manager,” he said.

“I’ve realised how much of a sod I was as a player. Managers have a ridiculous job to manage all the players emotionally and physically.

“It really has opened my eyes. It’s the biggest learning curve I’ve had since I was playing professionally.”

FC struggled for consistency throughout the season and frequently flicking between winning and losing streaks.

And it took nine games before the Moles finally got their first win under the new boss. This then sparked a seven game winning streak.

Faulconbridge said: “We didn’t have the greatest of starts. My biggest problem was not taking it with both hands.

“As soon as we took the bull by the horns we started to turn it round.”

The boss said if they can address their consistency problems the side will be a force to be reckoned with.

“Every year I want to get promoted. I won’t stop until it’s mathematically impossible.

“Consistency for me is everything. Our squad next year will be stronger then this year.

“We will be there or thereabouts within the play-off spots. I have no doubt about that.”

Faulconbridge said he expected to welcome back Leon Osei and Jonathan Constant to Aylesbury after both left the club mid-season.

And he said he would be looking to add three or four fresh faces, too.

He identified defence as an area where he would look to strengthen having had to fill in at the back on several occasions this season.

And despite not wanting to single out players out for praise Faulconbridge said midfield maestro Sonny French consistently played well throughout the season while grabbing some wonderful solo dribbling goals.

But that was not the manager’s goal of the season as that goes to a less recognised player.

“Luke Abraham. I don’t think I’ve seen a better left foot in our league,” he said.

“He struck one of them in the top corner on the volley (in the 2-1 win over Barton Rovers).”