Mansfield Town chairman John Radford has praised boss Adam Murray’s first full season in charge of the club and promised to back him all the way to challenge for promotion next season.
Murray’s side defied the odds to be in the play-off hunt for much of the campaign before tailing away near the end to finish 12th.
“But at the club’s awards evening, Mr Radford said: “We’ve everything to be proud of at Mansfield Town Football Club this season.
“The first team have achieved a respectable finish in League Two in a campaign which has left us with some brilliant memories as well as a concrete base from which to build.
“I want to thank Adam, his staff and players for their endeavours this season. I consider the season just passed to be Adam’s first ‘proper’ season as manager of the club.
“When I gave Adam the job 18 months ago, his first job was to preserve our League status.
“Last season, I wanted us to make progress on the field and improve our league position, so it’s two out of two accomplished for Adam.
“Now we want to make our next step on our journey and go one better - and Adam has my unwavering backing to do what’s necessary to achieve this for our club.
“We have some talented players amongst this group and I expect the majority to be with us next season.
“Our final league standing shows that we’re not far away from competing with the elite in League Two, and with some additional quality in the summer, we can surely make that next step in our journey.”
On his memories of last season, he said: “You have given me and the fans some terrific moments, and of course I simply cannot leave out mentioning the two incredible victories against our local rivals.
“We travelled to Nottingham in early August, backed by an amber army of almost 3,000 Stags fans and played Notts County off their own park.
“And if there’s one thing I love more in this game than winning then it’s winning in style – and how we did in the reverse fixture here last month. “We didn’t just beat Notts County, we put them to the sword with finesse and splendour in that 5-0 victory.
“Our defence was impenetrable, our midfield inventive and our striking lethal. Never before have we beaten Notts County 7-0 over two fixtures in a season. Well done guys on two hugely memorable victories against our local rivals.”
He added: “Whilst we continue to make this club better year upon year, the future itself is looking even healthier. And what a future we have in terms of our young players emerging off of our production line.
“Huge congratulations go to our youth team this season for winning the Football League Youth Alliance. What an achievement for everyone in the youth set-up. Well done to you all.”
Mr Radford concluded by paying tribute to everyone who had played their part, big or small, in the season’s success.
“My thanks are extended are extended to the club’s sponsors and commercial partners,” he said. “We deeply appreciate your backing and are proud to be associated with each and every one of you.
“Thank you to our staff, whose diligent work does not go unnoticed. We have a lot of terrific people working behind the scenes at One Call Stadium and I thank every one of you for your dedication and smart work for the club this season.
“To my fellow board members – thank you for assisting me in steering Mansfield Town Football Club this season.
“My directors have a wide array of skill sets and talents, and mixed in with the passion which we all have for our football club, it really is a pleasure to have you all on my board.
“And they say behind every good man, there’s an even greater woman, and that’s a very appropriate proverb for me – so thank you Carolyn – for your guidance and love of our club.
“Finally, to our supporters. I’ve always thought that the definition of a model football supporter is to encourage and be loyal, whether in good times or hard times.
“And we have so many fans with those qualities, it makes me proud to be the chairman of our club. Thank you for the time you have given in supporting us this season.
“Thank you to you all for the part in which you’ve played this season, however small, however big. Whether your efforts are noticed or out of the spotlight. You have my sincere thanks.
“The future is bright for Mansfield Town Football Club. Let’s continue to set high standards and few limitations.”