Andy Preece has hailed his Airbus UK Broughton squad’s ‘amazing’ season – and believes the club can now be ‘a major force’ for years to come.
The Wingmakers qualified for the Europa League for the third summer running – and will earn a minimum of 200,000 Euros – despite cutting the wage budget and losing captain Ian Kearney to a serious injury.
Preece is now focusing on preparing his side for another European adventure as they go in search of a first win after finishing in the Welsh Premier League.
"The only word for the season is amazing. To qualify for Europe for a third season in a row is unbelievable,” said the director of football.
"We cut our budget when others were really pushing the boat out. I thought it would be really hard for us, and it was. We had some really rough rubs of the green, but that just gave us more incentive.
"Luck deserted us in Welsh Cup semi-final but we bounced back to be only team to beat TNS all season, which was long overdue.
Preece added: "We have definitely moved forward and we’re ready for the next few seasons. Now we are solid financially and we don’t need a backer throwing money at it. We have generated our own money through good management on and off the field and we are now a major force."
Former Bury boss Preece was recently awarded the Uefa Pro Licence, the highest coaching qualification, after studying on the same course as Marcel Desailly and Dietmar Hamann.
He added: "Europe is important for us. We represent the Welsh Premier and Welsh football, so we want to put up a good showing."
Playmaker Tom Field was this week named on the three-man shortlist for the Welsh Premier’s player of the season award.
The 29-year-old had an outstanding campaign, equalling a club record 16 goals in a season, and was named in the WPL team of the year by rival managers.
The ex-Vauxhall and Chester midfielder is up against last season’s winner Chris Venables of Aberystwyth and Newtown striker Jason Oswell, who was snapped up by the Robins from Airbus at the end of last season.
However, winger Ryan Wade announced through Twitter on Wednesday that he was leaving the Airfield after three seasons in which he scored 17 lleague goals in 64 starts.
The Wingmakers this week confirmed that Field, Andy Jones and ex-Chester FC full-back Matty McGinn have signed new contracts for next season, with more expected to agree new deals in the coming weeks.