ROB Small was overjoyed after Bowers & Pitsea stole the show at the Isthmian League awards evening.

Seven Bowers players were included in the Isthmian North team of the year, while David Knight and Luke Hirst took the top goalscorer awards at senior and development league level respectively.

And Small, who got his hands on the division’s manager of the year gong after leading Bowers to the Isthmian North title, was delighted to see the club earn recognition following a special campaign.

Small said: “I had not really had a chance to digest our achievements over the last year, so it was a special night.

“When you see the first team and under-23s being recognised, alongside myself, it starts to hit home what you did.

“We had seven Bowers players in the team of the year and there are probably a few of my side that might feel hard done by after not getting in.

“There are a lot of people putting together their own team of the year, but that is the one that matters because it is the managers who vote.

“It’s an absolute privilege to have so many players in the team and also be named manager of the year.

“We finished third in the league 12 months earlier and we didn’t have a single player in the team of the year, so it was fantastic to be well represented this time around.”

Andy Wilton, Martyn Stokes, Ryan Sammons, Ben Sartain, Quentin Monville, Brad Warner and Knight were named in the team of the year.

Bowers finished 12 points clear at the top of the Isthmian North standings and are set to ply their trade in the Isthmian Premier League for the first time in the club’s history when the new season gets underway in August.

Despite the club’s impressive term, Small was not expecting to return from the Isthmian League awards evening with a personal accolade.

The Bowers chief added: “I didn’t know that there was a manager of the year award.

“Being recognised like that is very flattering.

“I was proud to pick the award up with my wife and some of the Bowers contingent present.

“But I’m hoping that the other members of my coaching staff are also recognised and realise the part they played in such an amazing season.

“The season we enjoyed would not have been possible without the backroom staff and they deserve some recognition as well.”