Freddy Ward’s appointment as the permanent manager of Slimbridge was greeted by cheers and applause from the fans, players and officials of the EVO-STIK League Southern’s Swans.

Appointed caretaker for the second half of the campaign in January following the departure of Leon Sterling before Christmas, Ward was rewarded on Friday night for ensuring the Swans would be kicking off in EVO-STIK League Southern Division One South & West next season by finishing 16 points clear of the drop zone into Step 5.

The former assistant manager to Sterling, who was confirmed as permanent manager by Slimbridge chairman Barry Gay to wild applause at the end of season awards night at Thornhill Park, is expected to name his own number two for the 2017-18 campaign in the coming days.

The Swans boss is pictured with Gay and his ‘Manager’s Player of the Year’ Nick Grimes at the party which saw Sam Turl pick up the ‘Player’s Player of the Year’ accolade, skipper Lee Smith the ‘Golden Boot’ and Marley Thomas take home the ‘Supporters Player of the Year’ award.

Len Wrixon was named as ‘Club Person of the Year’ while Slimbridge president John Mack presented retiring physio Tony Woodward with a special award to mark his decade of service to the Gloucestershire club.


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