Proud Bunney pays tribute to Saltash squad
Saltash United manager Dane Bunney.
28th April 2021
By Lee Hall
Saltash United manager Dane Bunney says he is proud of his players after the club’s promotion to Western League moved another significant step closer on Friday.
The Football Association confirmed that the proposed restructure of the non-league system had been approved, which means Saltash can now formally apply to make the step up after a 26-year absence.
It’s a challenge Bunney is relishing, and he says it will be especially pleasing to see his squad get the chance to test themselves at a higher level, having watched many young players develop and establish themselves in South West Peninsula League football.
He said: “I’m so proud of all the players. Some don’t realise we’ve had some players since they were 16 and I’ve watched them become men over the last few years.
“Some of these young lads have been spearheading our attack and they’ve already played 150 to 200 games for the club. They’re experienced at a young age. I feel very lucky to be their manager. I love it.
“Sam Leary was fresh out of school and he has developed into one of the best centre backs in our league. He’s the sort of player who doesn’t mouth off, and has gone under the radar. Other young players like Harry Wilson and Shaun Cleary have come through and they’ve been brilliant.”
He added: “And then there are older players like Sam Farrant, who has played over 300 games for the club and has been a fantastic servant for the club, and Sam Hughes too, lads who deserve to be playing at a higher level.
“Not only that, they’re good enough to play Western League football. It’s great for everybody, every player will be able to say ‘I’m a Western League footballer’.”
The Ashes have been one of the most dominant sides in South West Peninsula League football, and now Bunney wants to make sure they establish themselves in the Western League.
He said: “We’re not going up to make up the numbers, that’s for sure.
“This group of players expect to win games. I demand success and they demand it too. I’d be failing them if I said I’d be happy to finish mid table next season.
“Saltash is a massive club, there will be a period of adapting but we want to be competing with the best.”