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National League South: Wealdstone set challenge of making play-offs next season by captain Jerome Okimo

PUBLISHED: 10:00 04 May 2018

Jerome Okimo in action for Wealdstone earlier in the season (pic: freddiepatmore.com)

Jerome Okimo in action for Wealdstone earlier in the season (pic: freddiepatmore.com)

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Stones skipper has set his sights on top-seven finish next term

The dust has barely settled on their most recent National League South campaign, but Wealdstone skipper Jerome Okimo has set the team the challenge of qualifying for the play-offs next term.

A 1-0 win at relegated Whitehawk on the final day of the season saw Stones finish the term in 11th place.

However, Bobby Wilkinson’s men finished 10 points adrift of the top seven, which under new rules this season secured qualification for the play-offs.

The Grosvenor Vale outfit will not be involved in the play-offs this season, but Okimo hopes that is not the case next term.

“I’m looking forward to next season and getting to where we want to be, which is at least the play-offs,” he told the club website.

Okimo returned to Wealdstone last summer for a second spell after three years away from the club.

The former Stevenage man was made captain by boss Wilkinson after he took over from Gordon Bartlett.

And Okimo says he was honoured to lead Stones this term, adding: “I’m happy to represent the club as its captain.

“It’s an honour and I’m happy to do it. I live local to the club and I love being captain.”

As for the season on a whole, Wealdstone finished midtable in the league and also made the FA Trophy semi-finals.

For Okimo, though, it seems that was a case of close, but not close enough for Stones this term.

“We wanted to be in the play-offs and we would have loved to have got to the final of the FA Trophy, but it didn’t go our way,” said the 29-year-old.

“The FA Trophy run was a high point of the season and especially the game against Billericay Town.”

Okimo was a vital cog in defence throughout the campaign for Wealdstone in both league and cup.

The defender rarely missed a game for Stones throughout the campaign, something which he admits nearly caught up with him at the end of the term.

“The last couple of weeks of the season were tiring with the games coming thick and fast, but we just had to get through it,” he added.

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