Of course, we want to go back up and I’m hoping that’s this year, latest next but for me it’s about consistency and putting the club on a good footing, says Erith & Belvedere boss Luke Coleman
ERITH & BELVEDERE manager Luke Coleman says the club have taken time to get used to life in the Southern Counties East Football League First Division.
The Welling-based club suffered relegation in April, losing their Premier Division status and sit in a disappointing 12th place in the First Division table with 18 points from their 13 league outings.
Aylesford-based K Sports, who pay their players a win bonus only, sit at the summit with 40 points from 16 games, followed by the big spenders in the division, Gravesend based outfit Punjab United, who are a point behind.
“Before I managed I haven’t really been in the First Division much apart from when I had a spell at Kent Football United last year,” said Coleman.
“In terms of the levels, I think all levels of non-league football are massively improving and this is as well.
“There’s teams that are more than capable of competing in the league above. It’s hard. Everyone sees us as quite a big draw in terms of fixtures but for me it’s about our application and how we apply ourselves.
“The aim is try to get out and back up as soon as possible but it’s a hard, competitive league and there’s some good sides.
“We’ve got three games in hand on the top two sides but I’d rather have the points on the board, of course. I’m not counting my chickens thinking we’re going to win those games.
“We’ve got to apply ourselves the say way as we did against Erith Town on Sunday.
“Has it surprised me? Certainly not because I know what to expect from the other sides but it’s surprised some of the players, although I read it like a bible over and over again.
“Sometimes I think it’s taken us by surprise how many teams raise their game against us. Stadiums don’t win you leagues, for me it’s about our discipline and our application. If we do what we’ve been doing in future games in our league I don’t see us losing that many but it’s about consistency and application levels.”
Erith & Belvedere showed good glimpses during their 2-0 home defeat to Erith Town in the Kent Reliance Senior Trophy Second Round last Sunday and they travel to Phoenix Sports Reserves on Saturday 9 December.
The hosts are currently siting in fifteenth-place in the table with 17 points from their 14 league outings.
Coleman said: “I think it’s important because we’re in a transitional year for us to try and build and have some consistency.
“Of course, we want to go back up and I’m hoping that’s this year, latest next but for me it’s about consistency and putting the club on a good footing, so if we do go back up we’re competitive in the league above and we’re not going to come straight back down. I think that’s got to be the aim.”
Visit Erith & Belvedere’s website: www.erithandbelvedere.co.uk