I suppose the talking has to stop on the 11th of August, says title-chasing Cray Wanderers boss Tony Russell

Sunday 05th August 2018

CRAY WANDERERS manager Tony Russell says his aspirations are to win the Bostik South East Division title this season.

The Wands completed their Bostik South Division in third-place and were defeated 5-2 at home to Walton Casuals in the play-off semi-final on the first day of May.

Cray Wanderers open their campaign with a trip to their local rivals Greenwich Borough next Saturday, a club that are much changed with new owners and a manager in former Wands striker Luke Medley, 29.

“It’s not the Greenwich Borough from last year. The whole team’s left, the managers left,” said Russell.

“I know Meds, he played for me for two years. He’s a great guy and I wish him all the best after that game and the one later on in the season.

“I spoke to him briefly and he thinks he’s got some really good young players.”

The Bostik South East Division has 13 Kent club’s and there will be 24 derbies in a shortened 38 game campaign.

“There’s one or two people who have made some good additions to their squads.  There’s one or two making a lot of noise about that but I suppose the talking has to stop on the 11th of August and they have to get on with it,” said Russell.

“I’m excited by it.  We’ve got to look at it with the facts, we finished third in that league.  It was important for us to keep the boys that we had because you’ll be ranked the strongest side in that league because you finished third and the two have gone up.  There’s no-one in that league that finished above us.

“I’ve seen enough in pre-season, we’ve made some good additions, we’ve lost one or two, but we’ve added some real quality.”

When asked about his aspirations for the season ahead, Russell replied: “To win it, simple as that!  Listen, they’ll be plenty of other people saying that in the league but we’ve got to look at the facts. The facts of the matter are we finished third and we’ve got some quality in there.

“You have a good idea whose going to be there or there abouts but you don’t ultimately know but from what I’ve seen, I think we’ll be more than competitive and that will be our aspirations.”

Bostik League club’s had to play 46 league games last season which were too many for players who hold down jobs but 38 games doesn’t seem enough and teams will have to hit the ground running from the off.

“It’s hard because I like the midweek games, they have a good tempo and the games under lights are always a lot quicker in midweek but there were too many games,” said Russell.

“We were flogging these poor kids.  They’re working all day and they were playing three games a week.  Maybe somewhere in the middle, maybe not as many as the 46 and maybe not as less than the 38, maybe some compromise, 42?

“I think something had to give but I’m sure it will sort itself out. It will take some adjusting as at the start of the season it was three games a week and it was manic until Christmas.

“When you’re winning games and you have momentum you want games to keep coming so you’re not going to have that and you’ve got to keep training but I personally think that will benefit us more because we do good work on the training pitch, we do a lot of coaching and do a lot of shape work and work on how to play.”

Visit Cray Wanderers website:  www.cray-wanderers.com

Greenwich Borough  v  Cray Wanderers
Bostik South East Division
Saturday 11 August 2018
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Middle Park Avenue, Eltham, London SE9 5HP