Walton Casuals manager Anthony Gale believes the club has improved on their previous season both on and off the pitch.
Gale spoke to local radio show Back of the Net on Tuesday night and expressed his delight in the progression of individual players, results and the attractions of the club.
He said: “When I got the job last year, the board asked for progression. After finishing on 60 points last year, we already have 56 with 10 games to go and I’d like to think we can collect four points from those! You can never say never in football but it’s something we expect to get in the next couple of games.”
The club continues to push for a top ten finish, having recorded their joint-best ever FA Cup finish this season. The Casuals are also just 180 minutes away from lifting the Southern Combination Challenge Cup.
Gale added: “You can see the progression within our form and the way that we’ve played. It’s been a much better style that’s attractive to the eye. The average age of our side  is still a young side but with more experience. Malachi Hudson has had a very good season and is a young man who has needed games under his belt after years of promise at Welling United and Kingstonian. He wasn’t allowed to express himself previously and coming to our club we both feel we’re seeing the best of him.”
With 78 goals in 36 league games this season, no club outside of the play-offs have scored more than the Stags – as well as fourth-placed Greenwich Borough. Gale believes the expression of the attacking players in the final third has been pivotal for the success in front of goal.
He said: “The team has a licence to express themselves in the final third. When I came into non-league football myself, I didn’t want the same identity I see week in, week out with so many teams just having a direct play. I wanted to try and play the right way, where we encourage the lads to try things without getting a negative reaction from us on the sidelines. You can see that through some of the passages and goals that we’ve scored. It’s been a real pleasure to watch.”
The full five-minute interview includes Gale’s thoughts the form of Jack Sammoutis, Jake Nicholson and Denzel Gerrar, as well as his “three-year plan” with the club. Former Casuals midfielder Sol Patterson-Bohner also appeared on the show, and you can listen back here.