Bury Town chairman delighted with Ben Chenery’s work as Blues learn FA Trophy fate

Bury Town chairman Russell Ward

Bury Town chairman Russell Ward - Credit: Gregg Brown

Bury Town chairman Russell Ward has hailed manager Ben Chenery’s impact at Ram Meadow this season, as he reflected on the Blues’s pairing with Dulwich Hamlet in the FA Trophy First Round draw yesterday.

Town, 4-2 victors at home to Thurrock in the Third Qualifying Round on Saturday, will the host the Ryman Premier leaders on December 12, with £5,000 on offer to the winners.

Progress at the next stage would write another chapter in a remarkable season for the Blues, who have rediscovered that winning feeling, following a dismal campaign last term that resulted in relegation.

However, defeat against Hamlet is hardly likely to give Ward any sleepless nights either, with the Blues chairman more than happy with the club’s renaissance this season.

“It’s a totally different atmosphere this season and Ben has exceeded expectations,” said Ward, who handed Chenery the permanent manager’s position at the west Suffolk club in July, following a period in caretaker charge.

“We struggled all the way through last season and I did not put any pressure on Ben (Chenery) in the summer.

“He had to work with what he had inherited last season and it was difficult for the club to attract the people we needed and we brought players in from afar, which didn’t really work.

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“But Ben’s position was never in doubt, he has gone on to build his own squad with (assistant manager) Christian Appleford and has blooded several untested lads from the West Suffolk Academy that have done well.

“We have had a dark time for two or three years which culminated in relegation, but we have changed the way of thinking at the club and we have gone back to bringing the young players through.”

It was one of the club’s more experienced heads though that helped Bury through at the weekend, striker Ollie Hughes grabbing a brace in the 4-2 win.

While the frontman has been taking all the plaudits, the likes of Remi Garrett, Bradley Barber, James Patterson, Phil Weavers and Darcy De’Ath have also been major players.

“Ben has got together a really good team spirit and everyone feels a part of it,” added Ward,

“The players will look forward to the Trophy game and we are at home again which gives us hope.

“Had we played Dulwich, or another team at their level or above away, it would have been a really hard task, but we have proved we can get a result out of nothing this season.

“In the bigger picture, we hoped for the play-offs at the start of the season. But there’s no pressure on the management and it will be nice to see what happens.”

Elsewhere in the draw, National League Braintree Town host divisional rivals Bromley, while Lowestoft Town will travel to Concord Rangers.

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