We're turning the club that’s maybe been in the doldrums and lost games, not used to winning and now people are talking about us in a positive light, says Chatham Town boss James Collins
CHATHAM TOWN manager James Collins says he wants to lift his club out of the doldrums and win the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division title this season.
The Maidstone Road outfit finished in a disappointing bottom five position last season but Collins revealed that he cut his budget and used the final stages of last season as preparation for this one.
Chatham Town kick-off their new campaign with high hopes of winning promotion to return to the Isthmian League.
Much-fancied Chatham start with a trip to ninth-placed finishers Corinthian on Saturday.
“We’re looking at all of the fixtures and you never get an easy game,” said Collins, whose side have shipped in ten goals in their last two warm-up games.
“You talk about the teams you think will be in and around it and you don’t mention Corinthian, you know you’re never going to get an easy game there.
“They’re going to be fit, they like to get on the ball, it’s going to be a nice pitch. We’re going to have lots of energy and I’m looking forward to it, really looking forward to it.
“They’re a good side, they’re organised, they always finish in and around the top six and they’ve got a good set-up there. They bring players through that have been there a long time, players that want to play for the club. It will be tough!”
Beckenham Town, Chatham Town, Cray Valley and Glebe have been tipped as four club’s that should be challenging for the league title, with a dark horse in Lordswood, who have a new chairman.
“I think if you say you want to win it, that’s the aim, that’s what the club want, that’s what we want,” said Collins.
“If you say that you want to finish in the top three, you probably finish fifth, so aim high, have a nice little run in the cups.
“I want to be competitive in everything. Speaking to the chairman he’s brought the club up this year.
“People are talking about the club now and saying we’re favourites, I don’t know, but I do know because we’ve got good players.
“We turn the club from turning the club that’s maybe been in the doldrums and lost games, not used to winning and now people are talking about us in a positive light and it’s our job to make sure we’re competitive week in week out and win football games and I think we’ve got the team to do that.”
When asked about the pressure that faces him this term, Collins replied: “There’s always been pressure on my part. I expect to win the league as much as I expected to win it at Lordswood, I expected to win it last year at Cray Valley.
“I’ve been in this league a long time and I don’t want to be….. I want to manage higher and I want the club higher but this league is tough. I feel this team could do well in the league above but it’s a different animal getting out of this one, it’s going to be tough!”
Chatham Town host Canterbury City next Tuesday, 7 August (19:45).
“You think about the teams that are going to be up there, the Beckenham’s, the Sheppey’s, Glebe are spending money and I know Cray Valley will be spending money, ourselves have been tipped to do well but you don’t mention the Canterbury’s and all these sides but they’re good sides and it’s just not easy,” added Collins.
“I think the first part of the season by hook or by crook you try to get yourselves some results and then you saw with (promoted runners-up) Whitstable last season as the season progresses you start playing better and start getting used to each other and that’s when you need to go on that ten, fifteen or twenty games without losing and try to get in there.
“In the first part of the season it’s FA Cup and all that so you just try to get yourselves results and however you do it, you do it and you get better as the season goes along.”
Visit Chatham Town’s website: www.chathamtownfc.com
Corinthian v Chatham Town
Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division
Saturday 4 August 2018
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Gay Dawn Farm, Valley Road, Longfield, Kent DA3 8LY