Aspirations to win the league has Ben Spaul excited to be back at Welwyn

Ben Spaul of Welwyn Garden City FC

Ben Spaul has returned to Welwyn Garden City from Berkhamsted and sees no reason why they won't challenge in the Southern League Division One Central. - Credit: DANNY LOO

The return of a fan favourite to Welwyn Garden City is just a small part of manager Nick Ironton's planned assault on the league title.

Ben Spaul last played for the Citizens back in January 2019 but after a couple of years playing and captaining divisional rivals Berkhamsted, a move closer to home and the promise of run at the Southern League Division One Central title has got the 29-year-old excited.

"I’m delighted," he said. "I live three minutes round the corner so it was quite an easy decision. 

"It was always a club close to my heart and it is back where it should be. 

"I’m hoping this year brings up some success like a cup run and promotion. 

"We had some good battles when I was at Berko and I’ve known a lot of the boys growing up. 

"We have a good side and the club has the potential to be pushing easily for the play-offs as a minimum and even challenging for the title. 

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"Nicky has aspirations for us to go and win this league and he has made that clear from the very start. 

"Everyone needs to be on that wavelength moving forward." 

The City side that Spaul returns to is very different to the one he left but his arrival back at Herns Lane does create one of the strongest midfields in the division, alongside skipper Jess Walklin and the goal-scoring, flair-filled duo of Dave Keenleyside and George Ironton.

Spaul said: "I know those boys. They are all very good technically but we need a squad to be challenging. We need people to come off the bench and make an impact. 

"We need players who are going to go and win games and the likes of Dave Keenleyside, George Ironton and Jess will do that." 

Also new is the club's U23 squad and Spaul has been surprised and delighted by what he has seen from the youngsters.

"They have an opportunity to go and impress Nicky," he said. "The whole point of an U23 side is to get minutes under your belt and progress to the first team. 

"Having that team is a great addition. The club has changed for the better and it is moving forward as well."

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