Guardian Player of the Year predicts silverware in 2015/16 for Worksop Town, as he awaits call to return

Worksop Town v Handsworth Parramore at Sandy Lane. Tom Burgin on the ball for the Tigers.
Worksop Town v Handsworth Parramore at Sandy Lane. Tom Burgin on the ball for the Tigers.

Worksop Guardian Player of the Year Tom Burgin is waiting on the call that will seal his return to Sandy Lane for another run at the NCEL Premier title.

The centre-half is hoping Tigers boss Mark Shaw will want him back for the 2015/16 campaign, as the world’s fourth oldest club attempt to claw their way back to the Northern Premier.

And Burgin firmly believes that the same squad that finished the season will have grown so much together that the number one spot in the table will be well within their grasp.

Burgin, who picked up the Guardian award ahead of fellow star performers Jon Stewart, Tom Elliott and the departed Alex Pursehouse, clearly enjoyed the season – once he joined up with Shaw again.

“The start of last season was frustrating,” he said.

“At Scarborough I was suspended for the first three games and then started a new job that meant I couldn’t go to training, so I had to go back to the drawing board.”

“I was asked to go down to Belper and played one game but didn’t really get on with people, so finally got in touch with Mark Shaw and I was more than pleased to come back.”

“I’ve played for Mark at four different clubs and enjoyed every moment of it, it was a no brainer.”

Once Burgin was settled in at Sandy Lane he put in a host of commanding performances, with an impressive seven Man of the Match displays in 28 appearances.

His commanding presence meant the loss of the talismanic Luke Shiels to Conference North Harrogate wasn’t as keenly felt as many expected.

In fact, Tigers went on to compile the second meanest defensive record in the league, and Burgin was quick to share the credit with his team-mates.

“Personally it was the most games I’ve stayed fit for, and I felt very good, especially towards the last six to eight games.”

“I didn’t feel like I would lose a header to anyone.”

“But as a unit we were unbelievable. Jon Stewart could go and play in the Football League, Sam Liversidge is brilliant with both feet, strong and quick, Ross Henshaw has slotted straight in, he puts his head where most people wouldn’t put their feet.”

“Then you have Phil Roe and Jono Wafula either side, and the work Tom Elliott and Jake Scott do in front of us makes life a whole lot easier.”

“The defensive record was down to everyone. It’s been a pleasure to play with the guys and hopefully we’ll all get the call.”

If Shaw does retain the same squad, Burgin is confident of silverware: “If we can keep the squad that finished the season, then I think we won’t be caught – we’ll have experience as a team and a pre-season together.”

“I can’t see us having any problems winning the title.”

And a successful end to the 2015/16 season would be just reward for the fans Burgin has loved playing for: “Everyone in the team can’t thank the fans enough.”

“Playing in front of 500 people in the league we’re in is unheard of.”