Ben Burnett is something of a talisman for Golcar United and the attacking midfielder has once again put pen to paper on a new contract.
Burnett’s name is etched into the club’s history books after he scored three vital goals. He scored the club’s first ever goal as a semi-professional outfit and their first in the FA Vase.
His most important goal, however, was the winner in the 2-1 play-off final victory over Holker Old Boys at the end of last season which saw Golcar promoted to the Northern Counties East League Premier Division.
The big question now is can Burnett do the unthinkable and score the first goal in the new league to continue his legendary scoring status?
Burnett admitted he’d considered bowing out after last season’s heroics and said: “Over the summer I had time to think and I didn’t know whether I should give it up. I thought maybe I should just go out on a high. However, I then thought I wanted to give it a go in this league and help the club at this level.
“I feel I still have something to give and so I had a good chat with Ash (Connor, manager). I didn’t play the minutes I wanted last season so hopefully I can play a bit more in this campaign.”
On whether he’d have moved to another club, Burnett said: “I wouldn’t have played for anyone else at this level. You give up a lot to train and play and Golcar is the only team I’d do that for at this level.
“I might have gone and played with my mates at a lower level but, like I say, I still think I can add something here. I’m 31 now so I’m not getting younger but I feel we have a good squad and I want to see where things go.”
Burnett recalled the champagne moment when he grabbed the promotion-winning goal – and ended up playing the last 10 minutes in a shirt soaked in beer!
“It sounds odd but I can remember everything about the game except my goal! I remember running away in celebration and getting covered in beer. I remember thinking there were still 10 minutes to play in a soggy shirt that smelled of beer! It was a fantastic moment in my career and one I will never forget.”
Turning to next season and Golcar have replaced departed top scorer Ash Flynn with prolific Kayle Price and the squad has been kept pretty much intact ahead of the step up.
Burnett said: “Last season I think we relied too much on Ash and Dan (Naidole) to get the goals. If either of them didn’t score it was a struggle. We did have Buddy Cox and Nick Crane coming up with huge goals, though, at times which were important.
“Whilst we have lost Ash we’ve signed a super player in Kayle who is a great talent. He scores lots of goals and he’s fast. He’s impressed me every time we played against him at Steeton.
“I think we will have a lot of fire power next season and so hopefully we can score lots of goals. I’m excited for the season ahead. We had a great dressing room last year where all the lads got on and we’ve managed to keep the majority of those guys which is great.
“I do think this league will be stronger as there are some very good teams in it. We will just see how far we get and hopefully we’ll be able to make an impact.
“If we can finish mid-table or top half that’d be a good start. We have confidence as a squad that we can achieve anything we want to and I am glad I’m going to be part of it.”