STOURPORT Swifts manager Mark Phillips is keen to hold onto his gifted young group of players after they finished their first season in the Midlands Premier in a respectable 10th spot.

The Walshes Meadow outfit completed what was a fledgling campaign for much of the team with mixed results.

They lost the second leg of the Polymac League Cup at champions Hereford 3-0 and the went down 3-0 at Boldmere St Michaels on Saturday.

But they signed off in style on Tuesday night, seeing off AFC Wulfrunians 3-1 at home with goals for Jack Bailey, Joe Phillips and Drew Canavan.

That concluded a hectic end to the campaign.

Phillips took over as Swifts boss in the summer as part of a shake-up at the club and saw a host of fresh-faced youngsters make-up the squad.

After a lightning start to the campaign, they faded before rallying well after Christmas.

Phillips said: “I think over the course of the season 10th place is a respectable spot to finish.

“We had a very fine start to the season and I think that caused some unrealistic expectations because we do have a young team.

“Losing Jamie Willetts to Hereford was a blow because he had played a lot of games.

“We tried to bring one or two lads in and it didn’t work but after Christmas I thought we were excellent.

“We probably should have picked up more points than we did.

“The squad is young and I want to make sure we keep them for next season and maybe add one or two more players.

“They have learned a lot and I think in two or three seasons this is going to be a very good squad because we have a lot of talent.

“This was also my first season managing at this level and I also felt like I learned a lot. We’ve tried to play football the right way and we will continue to do that.”