CLEE Hill United boss Wayne Whitbread has challenged his title-winners to maintain their hunger next season – after seeing them hit a baker’s dozen to put the icing on their championship cake.

Herefordshire Premier champions United rounded off a memorable campaign with a 13-2 thrashing of Kington on Saturday before the presentation of the league shield kicked off wild celebrations.

Manager Whitbread knows his side will be marked men next term but says they can still improve and wants a cup run to go with another tilt at the league crown.

He said: “I’m expecting next season will be tougher and who is to say we will perform the way we have done this season?

“The most important thing is that we retain our hunger – if that isn’t there, then the games we shaded this season, we might not shade them next season.

“When you look at how we won the league, by seven points and with a big goal difference (+93), the fact that we won only won one cup game out of six is the disappointing part of the season.

“You would have thought after winning the league as comfortably as we did that we would have a cup final to look forward to, and that’s always a nice way to finish the season.

“It shows you there are always things to aim for. It was a near-perfect season but it wasn’t perfect and when you have County Cup finals played at Edgar Street, that’s something to aim for.”

Josh Carpenter finished the league season with 56 goals in 22 games after hitting four against Kington.

Liam Whitbread and Ben Slingsby bagged braces, while Scott Jordan, Kieran Hall, Chris Breakwell, Craig Shorter and Stevie Preece also netted.

The manager hopes to retain all of his players for next year, adding: “I’m lucky to have the side I’ve got and long may it continue.

“No one has come up to me and said they are not going to be here.

“I think it would take someone to come in and offer them something they couldn’t refuse because they are all mates who hang around together and socialise together.”