City bid to keep star goalkeeper
ST Albans City goalkeeper Paul Bastock is hoping a deal can be reached to ensure he remains with the club next season. City lost just once in 11 games after Bastock returned to the club from Rushden & Diamonds
ST Albans City goalkeeper Paul Bastock is hoping a deal can be reached to ensure he remains with the club next season.
City lost just once in 11 games after Bastock returned to the club from Rushden & Diamonds and the veteran was named St Albans City Supporters Club Player of the Season, beating off competition from Paul Bruce, Ryan Frater, Hasim Deen and Ben Martin. Bastock was shocked and delighted to get the award. He said: "I'm chuffed to bits. It is highly unexpected. It shows the fans have appreciated what we have done since I have been here in the last 11 games. It is a special accolade to get from the fans."
A run of six wins and four draws with just one defeat ensured City survived with a comfortable five point margin. For Bastock, the revival was a combination of many factors. He said: "I was one of many things to kick off at the right time. Lee Clarke came into midfield, Luke Thurlbourne joined and Paul Bruce chipped in with some important goals when we were on the back foot. It is a real team effort.
"I am delighted for the club. They didn't have the confidence and there was only one place they were heading so it is a great achievement for us. It felt like winning the championship on Tuesday at Maidenhead United. You have got that relief."
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City fans will be desperate for the legend to remain at the club next term and, while he has already received other offers, Bastock is keen to play a big part in what he hopes would be a promotion challenge under boss Steve Castle. He said: "The last time we had a season like this we got promoted the next season and hopefully that could happen again. I love the club. I have got a few offers closer to home but I have a big affinity for this place. Getting the reception I got from the fans when I came back meant so much to me. I would love to do another season. Steve Castle has done well. He has forged a strong team spirit and it is a top dressing room there. We have got a lot of characters together."
City top scorer Lee Clarke, who excelled in a midfield role in the final months of the campaign, was handed the Supporters Club Goal of the Season award for his stunning shot that helped City to a sensational win at champions Lewes. Midfielder Paul Bruce contributed eight goals, including some spectacular efforts and he was named Player's Player of the Season.
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Peter Knock took The Wagstaffe Simmons award for Clubman of the Year. Knocky said: "To everyone who voted for me I was very honoured and quite touched about it to be honest."
Promoter Bill Nicholson made the draw for the 100 club and the winners for March were - £100 Roland James number 73; £50 Fred Cook number 53; £25 Margaret Jenkins number 13. The winners for April were - £100 Richard Lawton number 12; £50 Ron Nicholson number 22; £25 Steve Eames number 45.