It’s nice to dream of promotion but I’m sure the club won’t mind me saying it’s probably a year too early for us, admits FC Elmstead boss Ennio Gonnella

Thursday 01st August 2019

FC ELMSTEAD manager Ennio Gonnella says his club are not ready for promotion from the Southern Counties East Football League First Division.

The Hextable based outfit finished in the bottom six last season and they open their new campaign with a home game against promotion-chasing side Kennington.

The Ashford based outfit finished in third-place in their debut campaign last time out, finishing just four points behind champions Welling Town.

“We go into Saturday’s opening fixture with a good pre-season behind us and looking forward to a very good but tough test ahead,” said Gonnella.

“Kennington are a well-organised side, they have recruited well to execute their tactics very well.

“Their management are very good also and they are in my personal list for the top four this year.

“While I respect them, I also have nothing but belief in our squad. We took have recruited well with vast experience surrounding enthusiastic youth.

“We have had a solid pre-season with a family feel round the camp, smiles on everyone’s faces and we will not doubt have the talent to cause upsets from the start.

“I think it will be a good game for the neutral so get down to Lower Road and come to watch!”

With four promotion places up for grabs, Gonnella expects a very competitive league but has ruled out his club for promotion.

He said:  “This year it’s going to be a very competitive league with the opening of four promotion places.

“This is my fourth or fifth year in Step Six and I can’t see a clear winner like the previous years.

“Glebe and Punjab have all had the bigger budgets with only about two or three teams below paying some sort of money to the odd player.

“This year because of the top four means more teams are having some sort of budget so it should read for a good competition throughout and I would say six or seven teams are battling for that top four.

“For us, I’ve been in football a long time and for me to sit and say we will be going for that top four at this stage of the season would be madness!

“We will try and compete in every game that we are involved in and then see where we are around January time.

“It’s nice to dream of promotion but I’m sure the club won’t mind me saying it’s probably a year too early for us.

“When you get promotion in to Step Five, there’s such a difference that we as a club have to know that we can survive and compete in the levels above and for the time being we are not there yet.

“The club have exciting things happening in the back ground that in good time will come to the surface.

“I wish all of the club’s in Step Six good luck for the season ahead and Elmstead wait with warm smiles to welcome you all – see you soon!”

FC Elmstead  v  Kennington
Southern Counties East Football League First Division
Saturday 3 August 2019
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Lower Road, Hextable, Kent BR8 7RZ