Club, First Team

02 May 2024

A message from the Manager, Paul Johnson

When Jimmy and I took on this job 18 months ago, the target for this season was always promotion, no matter what. It was clear for everyone to see that the people behind the scenes at Farnham Town were building something special and that this was a Club on the up – and that’s what excited us about stepping in.

Given how we finished last season, going 10 games unbeaten in the league and winning some silverware in front of a huge crowd at home, that really helped lay the foundations for what was to come. And the way the fans really got behind the team and drove us on during that stretch, almost sucking the ball into the Clock End at times, we knew 23/24 was going to be a special season.

We’ve not hidden from the fact we’re well-backed and wanted to build a squad that would not only secure promotion this season but would be competitive at Step 4 once promotion was secured. The Club supported us tremendously in bringing in the players I thought were going to be key to delivering on both of those things.

Once the season got underway and we started picking up win after win, we knew that we had a squad capable of delivering on the Club’s aims this season, but I don’t think even the most ambitious Farnham Town fan could’ve foreseen what was to come.

To put our names in the history books as the team with the most consecutive wins to start an English league season with 25 is something very special, and something we should be proud of for a long time. The credit goes to the players who turned up every Saturday afternoon and every Tuesday evening with the right work ethic and determination to get the job done, not take a game or opposition for granted and put their bodies on the line for 90 minutes.

That weekend in Jersey with promotion in our sights summed it all up for me. It was the first and only time we’ve gone behind in a league game this season, and were two goals down with just 15 minutes to go. But we have a never-say-die attitude in our squad and the way they dug themselves out of that hole to get the point we needed to clinch the title – after just 29 games – was special, as was the night that followed. It will be a weekend we’ll all never forget.

I’m not the biggest fan of the cup competitions, especially when we have our objective in the league to focus on, but having equalled the Club’s best-ever runs in the FA Cup and FA Vase this season it just goes to show the character of this squad and their determination to win.

As many of you know, I was unable to join you all for the final games of the season as I was recovering from an operation, and I’d like to thank everyone who sent me messages and their best wishes as I continue my recovery. Thankfully, I was able to watch many of the final games online as we got over the line in the league with that unbeaten record intact. An amazing achievement that will be one for the record books. One you would be wild to think is possible at the start of the season but this group had the right mentality as well as the quality from top to bottom to turn up every week, be professional and get the job done.

The scenes at The Memorial Ground on the day of the trophy presentation will live long in the memory of all the players, staff and fans who were there that day and had been a part of this journey, getting their hands on the league trophy at last. It was a shame not to be there in person to join in the celebrations which I’m sure went long into the night, but I’m confident there will be many more days like that in our future together.

Speaking of silverware, we put together a great run in the Surrey Senior Cup, a prestigious trophy that’s been going for over 140 years, and we made the final for the first time in Farnham’s history – and it was great to be back in attendance, albeit not fit enough to make the dugout.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t our night yesterday evening but congratulations to South Park, a strong and impressive Step 4 side who we look forward to potentially locking horns with again next season. The toll of 10 games in 21 days looked to finally hit the players who had given so much over the last few weeks, but I couldn’t be more proud of them and what they’ve accomplished.

I want to thank the Club directors, Harry, Paul, Ed and Dean, for the support they’ve given Jim, Givvo, Paul, Nathan and I this season. Thank you to everyone on the Committee as well who have got behind the team the entire way.

Lastly, I want to thank the fans who turn up twice, even three times a week to cheer the boys on. We’ve set record attendances this season, and the fans are a large part of our success, inspiring the team to push on and go again every single night. I hope many of you come down to our Awards Night at the Clubhouse on Saturday evening to further celebrate what we have achieved this season.

We have a lot to look forward to next season as we play Step 4 football for the first time at this Club. We believe we can mix it with the best in that division and hopefully have another special season.

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