Sheppard relieved and delighted to win Senior Division with Henley

Henley Athletic celebrate with the SIL Senior Division title on Saturday.

Henley Athletic celebrate with the SIL Senior Division title on Saturday. - Credit: Archant

Henley Athletic defender Arran Sheppard admitted that it was nice to ‘finally get over the line’ when the club won the SIL Senior Division on Saturday.

Henley captain Mark Storey, Arran Sheppard's central defensive partner, heads towards goal against C

Henley captain Mark Storey, Arran Sheppard's central defensive partner, heads towards goal against Crane Sports on Saturday, a game Athletic won 2-0. - Credit: Archant

Athletic, who could have won the title a week previously, defeated Crane Sports 2-0, to be crowned champions, in what was their first season at this level.

“I’m over the moon,” said a delighted Sheppard afterwards.

“We were up there (at the top of the league) all season and it’s just so nice to finally get over the line, especially after last week!

“We didn’t play at all that day (a 2-1 home defeat to Bramford United), but we had another bite at the cherry and got it done.”


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Sheppard admitted he was physically and mentally exhausted from a dramatic final game that definitely wasn’t short of incident for the 250 plus crowd.

“As soon as that own goal (from Cranes’ defender Mark Van Oene after seven minute), I knew it was going to be our day,” said Sheppard.

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“They hit the bar and post four times, and should have had a penalty in the first half, I don’t know how we kept a clean sheet!

“We should have had three or four goals in the second half, but that’s the way it goes.”

Alongside Chris Williams, Sheppard joined Athletic, from Felixstowe & Walton United, in November, and after this achievement, certainly doesn’t regret dropping down two divisions.

“Chrissy (Williams) and I came over in November,” continued Sheppard.

“Both of us have got young children and it’s a little less commitment at this level, but it’s still a decent standard.

“I briefly played in the Senior Division about seven or eight years ago, but I think it’s better now.

“There are teams who try and play football, which is good, and I think the top six in the SIL Senior would give it a good go in the Thurlow Nunn First Division.”

Sheppard continued: “I’ve enjoyed it, it’s been a good club to come to, the pitch and facilities are fantastic and I am really pleased for everyone involved.

“We’ve got a good group of lads which helps, and most of the lads have known each other for years.

“There are some great people here, and week in, week out, we’ve been getting good crowds - with the Henley Ultras supporting us away from home as well.

“It’ll nice to have a bit of a rest, but we’ll go again next season.”

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