We're not going to rest on second best, insists promotion chasing Greenwich Borough chairman Perry Skinner
GREENWICH BOROUGH chairman Perry Skinner has told under pressure manager Ian Jenkins that he MUST claim promotion next season.
The club were favourites to win the Southern Counties East Football League title last summer with what Mr Skinner said was a “Ryman Premier League budget,” but faltered in the league, finishing in fourth-place and became cup specialists instead.
CUP WINNERS: Greenwich Borough celebrate winning the Kent Senior Trophy after beating Kent Invicta League side Hollands & Blair 3-1 at Bromley's Hayes Lane on 12 April 2015.
Photo: Alan Coomes
Greenwich Borough reached The FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round for the first time in their history, losing 2-1 at Vanarama Conference North side Worcester City.
Jenkins also guided the club to The FA Vase Fourth Round and domestically they won the Kent Senior Trophy and the League Cup with wins over Hollands & Blair and Tunbridge Wells respectively.
Mr Skinner said: “I learnt that and Jenko learnt that last year that cup games are not your bread and butter and players come down to a different level thinking that they could stroll through games and pick up three points, which is definitely not the case in this league – you’ve got to go out there and earn the right.
“I think we’ve over expected our ambitions but we should have achieved that with the actual players we had on the playing staff last year because the budget was, believe you me, it was a Ryman Premier budget. It was not a Southern Counties League budget hence why we’ve released a lot of players and now looking at better quality to move out.
“To me personally and my brother that’s financing it all, not getting promoted was a bitter disappointment big time.
“I know we won the two cups but in my point of view it didn’t take a lot to win those two cups to be honest.
“We had a great FA Cup run, a good Vase run and an overall reflect I’d say it was a seven out of 10, no more than that because we were all geared up to get promoted and that’s where it’s got to be next season.
“Ian’s fully aware of that and there will be no bones spared for us achieving that so yes, 100% behind getting promotion.
“Fortunately we more or less know all our competition baring AFC Croydon.”
Last summer the club pulled off a major transfer coup with the arrival of former Millwall star Gary Alexander, who finished the previous season playing League Two football for Burton Albion.
Alexander, 35, was one of Greenwich Borough’s impressive players last season, top scoring with 30 goals.
Holding midfielder Aaron Day, central defender Joe Vines, 29-goal striker Paul Vines and the Wood brothers, Jamie and Lewis have all left the club.
Joe Vines and Jamie Wood have since signed for league rivals Erith & Belvedere, who finished third last term, while Lewis Wood has retired to manage his young son’s football team.
Mr Skinner sent an email at 13:01 on Friday 5 June 2015 that “Greenwich are about to sign Peter Sweeney.”
This news was published on this website later that evening but Jenkins left an aggressive voicemail message on Sunday 7 June insisting that he had not spoken to the 30-year-old midfielder, who played Vanarama Conference football for Dartford last season.
Mr Skinner called last night to confirm that the club have signed Sweeney and a posting on the club’s official website said: “Greenwich Borough FC are delighted to announce the signing of our new mid-fielder Peter Sweeney, who joins us from our Landlords Dartford FC.”
Mr Skinner also apologised for his manager’s aggressive voicemail message. However, no apology from the manager has been forthcoming.
The chairman said: “It was totally out of the blue because I got a phone call from Gary Alexander saying that Peter was interested in joining us.
“Obviously coming down from the Conference last year where I think he was one of Dartford’s better players last year and I think Tony (Burman, the Dartford manager) was hoping to keep him on board for next year but with his work commitments he wasn’t committed to doing the travelling next season.
“With our bigger picture and our plans he’s brought into that, as well with a lot of work from Gary Alexander to convince him that the club is going places and we’re not going to rest on second best.
“We’ve released five senior players from Ryman Prem, that sort of stature. We’ve got an ex professional who I consider is still in the prime of his career at being only 30 so I see a lot of mileage in Peter’s legs.”
Mr Skinner also revealed today that the club have signed striker Michael Power, who top scored with 15 goals for Ryman Premier League VCD Athletic last season.
Mr Skinner said: “I think it proves again how serious the club is for next season’s promotion push and it’s something that we didn’t have last year.
“I know we’ve got Gary Alexander, but someone physically and stronger to deal with the conditions of this league, having played Ryman Prem at VCD and gone up through the system with them.
“I know Cray Wanderers wanted to sign him because (former VCD manager) Tony Russell has gone to Cray but he’s wanted to join Greenwich because he likes the football he plays under Jenko.
“And with the good signing with Peter Sweeney helped his decision because they grew up as young lads together so it’s very exciting times for Greenwich. We’re looking forward to next season.”
VCD Athletic, now managed by former Thamesmead Town boss Keith McMahon, has today confirmed that central defender Lewis Tozer has re-signed for the club.
Jenkins is, however, under pressure to deliver a perfect start to the new season as the club bid to secure promotion into the Ryman League at the end of next season.
Greenwich Borough suffered an opening day defeat to Phoenix Sports last season, a side that went on to win the league title, finishing 19 points clear of Greenwich Borough, who play their home games at Dartford’s Princes Park Stadium.
Mr Skinner admitted his club were a scalp for their league rivals.
He said: “I had this conversation with Ian because I also questioned his philosophy in getting out of the league - are we doing it the right way?
“His answer was “I did it at Cray, I played our way out of this division,”
“I said to him you probably did it under the radar with Cray and did it! I said when the fixtures came out in July, every team in that league are looking when they’re playing Greenwich Borough because getting a win or a point off Greenwich Borough, they’ll see that as a good season, especially teams out of the top four or five.
“We’ve put a lot of pressure on ourselves by what we put into the club but we’re better equipped this season coming than we was last year, especially on the pitch, so we’re looking forward to fulfilling our goals for next season.”
Visit Greenwich Borough’s website: www.greenwichboroughfc.co.uk