My decision to start pre-season early was based on the fact that I want to get my team as prepared physically and mentally as I can for next season, says Crockenhill manager Chris Sundborg
CROCKENHILL manager Chris Sundborg says his players were ready to report back to pre-season training yesterday.
The club finished second-from-bottom in the Southern Counties East Football League First Division table last season, with a dismal playing record of six wins and eight draws from their 36 league games.
The Crocks were the first Kent club to report back to pre-season training as Sundborg led a training session at Hall Place.
“My decision to start pre-season early was based on the fact that I want to get my team as prepared physically and mentally as I can for next season,” said Sundborg.
“There were so many changes throughout the year and such a high player turnaround that nobody here really had a long and tiring season.
“We had no cup runs so I didn’t feel the players needed more than six weeks off.
“To be honest the players who are staying from last season were chomping at the bit to get going again and prove that they are better than what the table showed last season.
“We started on Saturday and it was a really good turnout. Some decent looking players and everybody there put in some real good work.
“I have also been changing a few other youngsters from other successful youth teams and was delighted they came along also. They looked hungry, keen and enthusiastic, which is what I want here at Crocks.
“I want to build this side around players who want to play for me, for Crockenhill and buy into what I am trying to do here.
“Without a budget, it is hard to attract the top players in the League so my aim is to create a team who give their all for each other every week. Players who listen to the way I want to play, work hard in training to put my plans into place and most importantly enjoy playing for me and with each other week in week out.
“I also have several established targets I am after and if I can get those players in with the experience they offer, along with the new youngsters coming in, I am sure we will be able to give a very good account of ourselves this year.”
Crockenhill completed their campaign with only Lewisham Borough below them in the League table and Sundborg wants vast improvement when the new season kicks off on 5 August 2017.
He said: “I have been asked about my aspirations this season and it is simple – to win as many games of football as possible.
“If we can get off to a good start then we will see what happens. I do not want another season like last year and I’ll give my all to ensure we finish much, much higher than where we finished last season.”
Crockenhill have been given a reprieve to maintain their current League status and have until the end of March 2018 to get their ramshackle old ground at Wested Meadow up to scratch.
“We know the situation about the floodlights and unfortunately at the moment we have no investors, no money and no way of getting them installed,” admitted Sundborg.
“I have spoken to lots of companies about potential investment but so far had no luck.
“My main focus this year is getting a settled squad and getting us winning and enjoying football matches.
“I can’t control what happens off the pitch, so I will leave that subject there for the time being.
“Although we struggled last season, I thoroughly enjoyed it and I have a very good working relationship with Steve Cullen, the chairman. He gives his all for the club and his family are so passionate about the football club. That is part of the charm about this club. It’s a real family club and I want that to spread onto the pitch this year.
“I’m really looking forward to my first full season in charge there. Having a pre-season the way I do it and getting a squad together full of my kind of players. Hopefully there will be better times ahead for the Crocks.”
Crockenhill begin their pre-season campaign with a home game against Andreas Carter Joma Kent County League Division Two West side Crayford Arrows on Saturday 1 July.