September 23rd, 2016

Nicol targets a 100-goal season before hanging up his boots

Nicol targets a 100-goal season before hanging up his boots Nicol targets a 100-goal season before hanging up his boots
Andy Nicol (right) and Austin team-mate Michael McGrath show off the Birmingham County FA Roger Wood Memorial Cup. Picture courtesy of Acacia Dixon.

AUSTIN Ex-Apprentices sharp-shooter Andy Nicol is aiming to score a century of goals in a single season before his days of playing in the Redditch & South Warwickshire Combination come to an end.

The 28-year-old striker, who bagged 55 goals in 2014/15 and notched up 67 this campaign (excluding ten goals that were scored against now defunct teams) has helped the Apprentices to the quadruple this season.

Nicol and his team-mates won the Premier Division, BRT Terry Cup, Keith Turner Cup and Birmingham County FA Roger Wood Memorial Cup.

“At the start of the season our main aim was just to win the title from Black Horse who won it last season,” Nicol said.

“Last season we did not do as well as we hoped but we’ve turned it around and won everything we have entered.

“It’s a fantastic achievement as we have a great squad spirit and take Sunday League very seriously.

“To have scored 55 goals the previous season and won nothing was disappointing, but it’s nice to know that this season, with my 67 goals, the Apprentices have won everything. It means a lot to me.

“I’ve probably got another two or three years left in me now and I hope in one season I can score 100 goals. That would be just incredible.

“We’ve entered the FA Sunday National Cup too so there’s more games for me to score in and we hope we can win all five trophies next season.”

Nicol, who played for Midland League Premier Division side Alvechurch in 2014/15 and made ten appearances for Division One outfit Cadbury Athletic this season, in which he scored ten goals in as many appearances, was forced to give up playing Saturday football due to work and family commitments.

However, Nicol told the Standard he loves the scene surrounding Sunday League football.

“Apprentices are not your average Sunday team,” he added. “We take everything seriously. We do proper training sessions, proper warm-ups and arrive at games an hour early.

“We actually get a lot of grief for how seriously we take it but all credit goes to the manager Colin Jones who runs the club very professionally.

“We’re run like a Saturday team. We’ve got great backroom staff and everybody helps out. It’s great.

“I get a huge buzz from Sunday League. I’m talking about it all week and I’m always in contact with the manager.

“I’m proud of the achievements both the club and I have made and I hope that success continues.”

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