Macaulay Langstaff feels being named as the Vanarama National League North’s Player of the Season is the icing on the cake to an ‘unbelievable’ 2021/22 season.
The forward was voted as the division’s Player of the Season and included in the Team of the Season in the End of Season Awards by players across the league, alongside accolades for team-mates Cedwyn Scott, Greg Olley and Mike Williamson.
Langstaff’s 28 goals and 11 assists in league competition helped Gateshead on their way to lifting the league title and earning promotion to the National League for the 2022/23 season, and he admits that he was sad to see the season come to a close.
“The season has went pretty much perfectly to be honest,” said Langstaff.
“If you said at the start of the season I’d win top scorer and we’d win the league I probably wouldn’t have believed it, but it’s been an unbelievable season.
“It was a relief once we’d won it, but I didn’t want it to end because I was enjoying it so much.
“We’ve done it our way and even the individual accolades that come at the end of it and the other players who’ve got in the Team of the Season speaks volumes on how well we’ve done.
“It’s a great feeling [to win Player of the Season], the team’s success comes first and foremost but individual accolades are the icing on the cake.
“For that to be voted by the you’ve played against makes it even better.”
The forward struck 32 times in all competitions to blow expectations of himself and his team out of the water as the season wore on, but he freely admits that this season’s tally has exceeded his own expectations after earning the National League North’s Golden Boot award.
“I think I’ve exceeded my expectations by getting 32 goals,” he added.
“I always feel like if you set targets you get comfortable with them, so if I’d have set a target of 20 goals then once I reached that it’s almost as if I’d done what I set out to achieve.
“That can be a hindrance, whereas I feel if you don’t set those targets for yourself and keep playing to the best of your ability then at the end of the season you can look back and see if you’re happy with your numbers or not.
“I didn’t really look at assists too much until I started getting decent numbers, but with the other lads we’ve got going forward we’re always going to create chances for each other so naturally we’re going to score and get assists as well.
“All of the lads’ numbers speak for themselves and they’re ridiculous for what we’ve achieved, and that helps to push me on as a player.
“Myself and Ceds [Cedwyn Scott] always had a friendly rivalry in terms of goals, I wanted to beat him and he wanted to beat me!
“We’ve all pushed each other on and we’ve done that as a team throughout the season.”
Langstaff and his team-mates’ exploits have set up Gateshead’s return to the National League following a three-year absence, and he feels there is no reason why he and his team-mates can’t compete at the right end of the table next season.
“I’m really excited,” he said.
“There are some massive clubs in the National League but I just feel that with this group of lads and the management, the ceiling is so high.
“I think we can more than compete and I’m really looking forward to testing myself at a higher level that I haven’t played at consistently.”