BLUEBIRDS boss Mark Collier believes the disappointment from missing out on the play-offs last season helped spur his side on to claim the Southern League Premier Division title this year.

Last year, Collier’s troops had led the way for much of the campaign before enduring a run of seven games without a win in March, which would eventually see them wash up down in eighth place.

This year, Chippenham showed great consistency towards the end of the season as they went on an incredible streak of 23 games without a defeat.

While Collier admits last season’s slip was tough to take at the time, he believes it left his side in a stronger position ahead of this campaign.

“We finished strongly this year and I think that is down to our mentality. We brought some experienced players in for the season,” said the Chippenham manager. “I spoke to the players at the end of last season and said although we have finished badly we needed to learn from the experience.

“Clearly we have managed to do that, which is particularly impressive.

“This division is unforgiving. To keep on grinding out wins like we have done is testament to the players.

“There is a lot of commitment required for this division and they have given me everything - I couldn’t have asked for anything more.”

In terms of results, the Bluebirds had a mixed Easter weekend as they lost 2-1 to St Neots Town at Hardenhuish Park before picking up a narrow 1-0 win away to Frome Town on Easter Monday.

While the promotion party was in full flow, the Chippenham chief plans to take a break before starting to plot for next season’s National League campaign.

“There are some big football clubs in this division and we have come up trumps, I’m chuffed to bits,” he added.

“I need a holiday. It’s been stressful for a long time so I’m going to book up some sunshine and enjoy that.

“Obviously there is a lot of quality (in the National League) and there are a couple of full-time clubs in there.”