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The Non-League Football Paper

Spirit of Sports Will Live Forever

By Hugo Varley

It is almost impossible to imagine the emotional rollercoaster that Peterborough Sports manager Jimmy Dean was stuck on last weekend.

Just hours before his side’s big FA Cup tie with Boston, Dean’s mind was a million miles away from football after his newly born daughter was rushed into intensive care.

“Mentally I was all over the place” told the Turbines boss. “Up until about 11 o’clock on Saturday morning I wasn’t going to go to the match.

“My daughter’s condition was deteriorating up until about Friday lunchtime but then she began to steady off and by Saturday her health seemed to be picking up again.

“I still wouldn’t have gone to the game if it wasn’t for my partner pushing for me to go because she knew just how much the match meant to me.

“Thankfully my daughter is at home now and she is absolutely beautiful.”

After frantically dashing over to Lincolnshire, Dean led his Step 4 side to arguably the biggest cup upset of the weekend as first half goals from Josh Moreman and Josh McCammon humbled Sports’ National League North opponents.

Dean told The NLP: “When I arrived in the changing room it was a really emotional moment because the boys had bought lots of flowers and chocolates for my partner.

“I think that goes to show what a brilliant group of people we have here at the club.

“As I was doing the team talk before the match I was thinking about what my family had been through over the last few days and it helped to put things into perspective.

“I just told the lads to go out and enjoy the occasion and to play without any fear.

“We came into the game on a good run of form and I knew that if we played our natural style of football we were definitely in with a chance of causing a shock.

“To be honest with you I think Boston were far too complacent and completely underestimated the ability that we have in our squad.

“The win will go down in the club’s history and it was certainly a great moment to see the team on the front page of The Non-League Paper the next morning!”

Unstoppable

On Monday afternoon the Turbines learned that their FA Cup journey would not get any easier after they were drawn against National League North’s runaway leaders Chorley in the next round.

“We are certainly going to have our work cut out!” joked Dean.

“The Chorley game is a completely different kettle of fish because they have looked almost unstoppable in the league so far this season.

“We were fortunate in that we played Boston when they were going through a really rough patch and we knew that if we could press them a bit then we could probably force a couple of openings.

“The Chorley game will definitely be harder but we are the home team this time around and if we can get a big crowd to come down to Lincoln Road then it will definitely be a brilliant occasion.”

Since taking over as manager in 2015, Dean has led Peterborough Sports on an impressive rise up the Non-League pyramid, which has included two title winning seasons.

Style

The Turbines raced to the United Counties League Division One Championship in 2016, before storming to the Premier Division title the following year, where they racked up an extraordinary 112 points.

In their first ever campaign at Step 4 level last season, Dean’s side enjoyed a strong post-Christmas run of form to secure a mid-table finish in the Northern Premier League Division One South.

“What has been really brilliant over the last few years has been watching the local community becoming increasingly interested in how the club are doing,”?the Sports boss added.

“With each season that has gone by more and more fans have come on board and I think our average gates have gone from about 40 to 80 to 160.

“After two brilliant years, last season was a bit of a leveller for us but as part of the re-structure we were transferred to the Southern League this season and I feel as though the league suits our style of play much better.”

The Sports have flown out of the blocks in the Southern League Division One Central this season and before this weekend’s action were sitting just a point behind league leaders Bromsgrove Sporting.

“I’ve learned a lot from what happened last season” admits Dean. “We really struggled with injuries last year so over the summer I looked to improve the depth of the squad.

“It’s certainly too early to be making predictions about where we will finish up this season or how far we will go in the cup but we are going to carry on going about our work as we always do and you never know what might happen!

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