Ryan Bird targets professional deal after Burnham FC title win

Published: 29 Apr 2013 13:000 comments

RYAN Bird has his sights set on a professional contract after firing Burnham FC to the Southern Division One Central title.

Burnham FC celebrate their title win on the way back from Biggleswade Town. Pic by Hannah Catley.

Fittingly, the defender-turned-striker had the final say on Blues' season as he netted the last goal in their 3-0 win at Biggleswade Town on Saturday.

That victory ensured Burnham were crowned champions on 99 points and took Bird's personal tally to an impressive 41 goals.

Blues will now be automatically promoted to Southern Premier Division, but their top scorer told the Midweek he may not be at The Gore next season.

"I have trained with Portsmouth and Wycombe and they both said they really want me to go back in pre-season," he revealed.

"There's a few other clubs in the pipeline so we will see what happens. I'd definitely look to challenge myself in the professional game. I'd probably go to a couple of weeks of pre-season with a few pro clubs and see how it goes.

"You never know, it might not work out for me, hopefully it does but it might not. I'd always come back to Burnham, I'll never write that off."

Blues went into the final weekend knowing that, barring a goal difference swing of 11 goals, they would be crowned champions.

After surviving an early scare when Matt Clifford's tame penalty was saved by Michael Watkins, Burnham took the lead on the hour mark through Lewis Driver.

The result was then quickly put beyond doubt with two goals in four minutes.

First, substitute Josh Webb scored from close range before Bird, the division's top goalscorer, beat the goalkeeper with a smart finish from inside the box.

The goal sparked scenes of jubilation from the players and travelling supporters alike as Burnham's championship dreams were confirmed.

Beaconsfield SYCOB could join Blues in Southern Premier Division next season if they make it through the play-offs.

The Rams were beaten 2-1 at Ashford Town (Middx) on the final day, with Anthony Page scoring late on from the spot for the visitors.

Defeat means a fifth-placed finish and a semi-final trip to Rugby Town on Tuesday (7.45pm ko).

The winner of the tie will face either Godalming or Biggleswade Town in the

final.

Slough Town finished a point outside the play-offs after beating Chertsey Town 3-0 at Holloways Park on Saturday.

Ed Smith scored twice for the Rebels in the second half either side of a strike from Ollie Burgess.

Elsewhere, Maidenhead United finished fourth from bottom in Blue Square Bet South following a 1-0 loss at Billericay Town on the final day.

Windsor FC and Holyport both suffered the same fate as they lost 1-0 at Wembley and Wokingham & Emmbrook respectively.

Windsor conceded in the 85th minute in their Combined Counties Premier Division clash while a fourth-minute free-kick from Sam Whiting sunk Port in the Hellenic Premier Division.

* PICK UP A COPY OF FRIDAY'S OBSERVER FOR ALL THE REACTION TO BURNHAM'S TITLE WIN AND THE PLAY-OFFS.

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