Sunday 09th May 2004

Tonbridge disappointed after losing title

After completing their Dr Martens League Eastern Division campaign in third place, Tonbridge Angels should take their place in a Premier Division, but chairman Paul Dainty said he was disappointed they didn't claim the title, writes Jez Durrant.

Dainty, who is stepping down as chairman to become vice-chairman, told the Kent & Sussex Courier: "I am disappointed to lose it by three points.  It feels like a missed opportunity, we should have done it.

"We had problems in mid-season but after the start we had and the players we have in the squad, I felt we had enough to have won the league."

Tonbridge started the season under the guidance of Alan Walker and were runaway division leaders after a great start.

However, sponsorship problems and budget cuts let to his departure in December, which badly disrupted the team's progress.

Dainty said that lessons would be learned from this season's experiences, adding: "The main policy will be security of the players.  It was the main issue this season, we wanted to put certain players on a contract but they was a reluctance to do this.

"Next season, manager Tony Dolby will be looking to place six or seven players on contract.  This will be the nucleus of the squad and will be a mixture of senior and younger players."

Dolby is looking to add to his current squad to provide more cover and competition and Dainty confirmed the club were looking to increase the playing budget in the Premier Division.

Dainty said: "We will be looking for an increase on this year but this is also an issue as we will be looking for more sponsorship.  The commercial side has been a big problem this year and we are looking at a big shake-up there."

Changes at board level are due to take place with Dainty taking a vice-chairman's role but concentrating on first team affairs with Paul Kelly, taking up the chairman's position.

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