The winners of January’s manager, player and volunteer awards in National League South have been named by National League sponsors Vanarama.
Dartford’s Steve King collects the division’s managerial accolade with Weymouth’s Abdulai Baggie named as the division’s top performer on the pitch in the first month of 2020.
Clare Keeble from Dulwich Hamlet earned the top volunteer accolade in National League South when the winners were announced by the Vanarama National League at 2pm on Friday.
Vanarama National League South Manager of the Month – Steve King, Dartford
When Steve King took over at Dartford he cautiously warned fans not to expect any of his old play-off magic any time soon.
The October appointment came with the club in deep trouble down the wrong end.
Interestingly, they had hired a manager with a track record in finishing in the promotion places- not one who specialised in keeping teams up.
Perhaps they knew something back then. Despite saying it wasn’t a reality when he turned up, the new boss has flipped their season on its head. Into the top seven and enjoying an incredible start to the New Year, the Kent club are on a roll.
Winning four out of their five January games, the only slip came at second place Slough Town.
The Darts hit the target against Dulwich Hamlet, Oxford City, Dorking Wanderers and Welling United last month.
So good is their form that the club have won seven of their last eight National League South matches. King has quickly got them playing the fast-paced football he is known for.
From fearing they would be leaving the division at one end to real ambitions of escaping at the other, he has brought more than just hope to Princes Park.
Vanarama National League South Player of the Month – Abdulai Baggie, Weymouth
Weymouth didn’t quite know what to expect this season – and so far they have been the unexpected surprise package!
The newcomers have taken to the National League South like a duck to water, and attacker Abdulai Baggie certainly hasn’t been out of his depth.
The Sierra Leonean star stepped things up last month as the Terras kept up their promotion charge.
He scored in wins against Concord Rangers and Welling United – but saved his best for last in January.
The 27-year-old made every fans’ weekend when he scored a winning goal deep, deep into injury time as they did a job on Dorking Wanderers at the Bob Lucas Stadium.
The Dorset club’s matchday commentator is still resting his vocal chords after Baggie’s brilliance!
His manager says there’s even more to come from the former Tranmere and Salisbury sharp-shooter in the months ahead.
The Terras’ chief tormentor is gunning for a second promotion inside twelve months.
Unfortunately, Abdulai was not available to receive his award at the time of announcement.
Vanarama National League South Volunteer of the Month – Clare Keeble, Dulwich Hamlet
Clare Keeble of Dulwich Hamlet has won Volunteer of the Month in the National League South.
Clare has been volunteering on a full-time basis ever since Dulwich Hamlet got the news they could return to Champion Hill back in October 2018.
She is the first person anybody will see when visiting the club during weekdays. She has been directly responsible for ticket sales, ground repairs, floodlights, cleaning the stadium after matches.
Clare organises every matchday and rarely sees any of the actual match as she wanders around the stadium ensuring that everything is running smoothly, from meet and greet at the front door to helping organise all our community visitors at every home game.
Every club needs a Clare and Dulwich Hamlet FC is very lucky to have somebody who never says no to any job that needs doing, regardless of the day of the week or the time of day.
She is literally available 7 to 11 most days whether it’s signing players before training or sorting out floodlight issues late at night, Clare is always at the forefront of taking action.
Make sure you get your copy of The Non-League Paper on Sunday for the latest news from across Non-League over the last seven days.
As well as exclusive match reports and pictures from all of Saturday’s fixtures in the Vanarama National League, the BetVictor-Sponsored Isthmian League, Southern League and Northern Premier League, the paper’s live coverage extends all the way to Steps 5 and 6.