Welling striker Kiernan Hughes-Mason raring to go after signing new deal

PUBLISHED: 14:39 21 June 2013 | UPDATED: 15:58 21 June 2013

Kiernan Hughes-Mason had plenty to celebrate last season. Pic by Keith Gillard

Kiernan Hughes-Mason had plenty to celebrate last season. Pic by Keith Gillard

Keith Gillard

Welling United striker Kiernan Hughes-Mason signed a new one year deal recently and cannot wait for the new season to start.

Kiernan Hughes-Mason (blue shirt) scores against Hornchurch last season. Pic by David BrownKiernan Hughes-Mason (blue shirt) scores against Hornchurch last season. Pic by David Brown

The forward has played Conference Premier football with Grimsby and Kettering previously and after helping Welling achieve promotion last season, knows aims will be high for the new campaign.

Hughes-Mason said: “Knowing our manager, he’ll want a top 10 finish but realistically that (survival) will be the main aim, stay in the league which we are more than capable of doing.

“We played Newport, Grimsby and Woking last year. Beat Newport, lost to Grimsby and beat Woking so I think realistically we should do well.

“I have signed a new one year deal and I can’t wait to get going now.”

The former Millwall striker spoke about the importance team spirit has played in their successful season.

He added: “I don’t think any club in the Conference South has a better team spirit then we do.

“Off the pitch we are just one big family. There are no cliques, everyone gets along.

“I’ve been at clubs where people fight at training and we have not had one argument all season, it is good for the team spirit.

When he met the Welling United manager Jamie Day last year, his first words to the manager were ‘I’m here to win the league’. Hughes-Mason was delighted to achieve that goal.

The former Arsenal youngster said: “I think that was my first words to him.

“Obviously the season before that, they got to the play-off final and lost so I expected his main aim would be to go one step further and win the league.

“He (Day) sort of agreed but was a bit shocked at the same time but we won it so everyone is happy.”

Hughes-Mason achieved doubles figures in goals and assists last season and was happy with his contribution.

He also admits Welling feels like home now, adding: “15 for the season, I am happy with that, playing out wide too.

“My aim was actually 20 but that was as centre forward but playing as a three, 15 goals, 15 assists, I can’t go wrong with that.

“I think it does (feel like home). Out of all the clubs I’ve played for, this has probably been the best one. Team spirit wise, the best, management wise, the best.”

Throughout the year Kiernan regularly called manager Jamie Day his ‘dad’.

He revealed how the nickname started and how many times the Welling player-manager tried to sign him before eventually getting his name.

He said: “The boys started it because we had the same haircut.

“It started from there and continued really.

“Prior to me signing for Welling, he tried to sign me three years in a row.

“Then this year I thought I need a season where I am playing week in week out so I thought why not.

“It proved to be a good decision.”

Welling’s first pre-season game of the season is against Charlton Athletic at Park View Road at 3pm.

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