Football: Ryan’s pride as Swinton on verge of lifting title

Swinton Athletic.  Back l/r Josh Cooke, Ricky Parker, Luke Shaw, Jason Warren, Gareth Halford, Tony Davies and Carl Cragg.   Front l/r Steven Hughes, Matt Owen, Dan Crossland, Pete Jepson, Scott Jones and Ryan Jones.  Picture: Malcolm Billingham
Swinton Athletic. Back l/r Josh Cooke, Ricky Parker, Luke Shaw, Jason Warren, Gareth Halford, Tony Davies and Carl Cragg. Front l/r Steven Hughes, Matt Owen, Dan Crossland, Pete Jepson, Scott Jones and Ryan Jones. Picture: Malcolm Billingham

Swinton Athletic Reserves boss Ryan Jones was bracing himself for a tough Doncaster Senior League title run in - but in the end, his side could win the league without even playing!

Division One leaders Swinton sealed promotion last weekend, when their tie against bottom club Bentley was called off - and they will secure the league title this weekend, if rivals Dunscroft United fail to win.

Even if United do take the three points from their clash away at Ackworth United, Swinton will still secure the title with just a point when they play their final game of the season, against Brodsworth Welfare on April 12.

With no game this weekend, Jones is gathering his players for extra training and he said: “I won’t be glued to my phone waiting to hear the result of Dunscroft’s game.

“We are fully focused on the job we have to do, which is getting a result against Brodsworth.

“But I am getting the lads together on Saturday, to go over a few key points and to ensure we are fully prepared.

“It’s all about who wants it more now and my lads are chomping at the bit to go and bring that title back to Swinton.”

If they are successful, then it will be the club’s third Division One title - with the other two won by what is now the Swinton first team, who play in the County Senior League’s Premier Division.

“This would be our first league title for six years,” Jones added.

“The last came when Andy Billups reformed the club after three seasons without a Swinton side, and to look how far they have gone is inspiring us to push ourselves as much as we can.

“And to wrap it up in April - a year after club stalwart Fred Bradshaw sadly passed away - would be most fitting, and of course we would dedicate it in his memory.”

Athletic have won 10 of their 14 games in Division One so far, after winning just 12 from 26 last season.

In 2011/12, they finished second bottom of the Division One table, winning just 16 points and finishing with a goal difference of -54.

“The turnaround is amazing, and the lads deserve a lot of credit,” Jones added.

“They have been excellent both on and off the pitch, and have put us right in the thick

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