Maidenhead United full-back Remy Clerima says he was ‘very surprised’ to receive the award of Manager’s Player of the Season at the end of the most recent campaign.

“I was very surprised actually,” said the 27-year-old. “I wasn’t expecting anything as I missed a few games because of my modelling, but it was a massive pleasure to receive the award from the manager. It meant a lot to me for sure, and it will push me to do ever better this season.”

Clerima, who scored twice in the National League last season in thirty-three appearances, has played a crucial role in the Magpies’ strong defensive line up in his first two seasons at the club. Even still, manager Alan Devonshire has been known to make changes to the starting XI during periods of poor form, and as such Remy is aware that he is partnered by two reliable full backs at Maidenhead United in the form of Rene Steer and Max Kilman.

“I wouldn’t say my confidence has increased [as a result of his Manager’s Player of the Season award], as I knew that the manager trusted me which was enough to get the best out of myself on the pitch. However, I definitely feel like I need to push myself even more and give more than what I’ve been doing last season.”

The Frenchman contributed to the majority of the Magpies’ 8 clean sheets last season, combined with a goal against Dagenham and Tranmere in the middle-third of the season. The latter of which occurred in January, just before I last spoke to Remy where we discussed the chances of promotion in the near future.

“I still think we have a good chance to finish in the play-off places, but it will depend on the mental state of the team – we will have to stay focused until the end of the season,” said Clerima. “It might take some time for the new players to adapt to the way we play, but I’m sure they will adapt very quickly as they are good players with promising potential. I wouldn’t aim for anything less than the play-offs.”

The Magpies affirmed themselves in the National League with an encouraging top-half finish at the end of their maiden season in the fifth division of English Football. They are due to play two extra pre-season friendlies ahead of their opening game at home to Gateshead on Saturday 4th August.

“I would say the atmosphere is the same as last season as we all get along and put in the hard work at training,” said Clerima. “Nevertheless, pre-season so far has been harder than last year, but seeing everyone pushing themselves at training is a good sign. We are all behind each other to push ourselves, so it’s definitely the right attitude which automatically brings in the right atmosphere.”

“Every season is always different I feel as there are new players going to new teams all across the league, so you never know what could happen. With the atmosphere, the attitude and the work the team are putting in, I definitely believe that we can make this season feel very different to last year.”

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