We’ve got to put a good side together and hopefully we can go and achieve and just be successful and be competitive, says Margate boss Steven Watt

Sunday 09th July 2017

MARGATE boss Steven Watt says his side will be much more competitive after suffering relegation back in the Bostik Premier.

Margate suffered a miserable campaign last season when they finished rock bottom of the Vanarama National League South when then manager Nikki Bull was in charge of a struggling club.

Watt took over at the end of February and it was an impossible task to keep the club in the division but Margate can expect a much better season back in the Isthmian League Premier.

“We said when we took over this club, this club had a very difficult year last season. There’s been a lot of change, not just on the field, but off the field as well,” said Watt.

“We’ll just take it very slowly. We’ve put a whole new team together so that needs to gel. Some of these players don’t know each other’s game and haven’t played with each other so we’re going to take it very slowly.

“There’s a lot of very good sides in this league and I know that from my time at Maidstone the success there was brought from a team that was together for years, so I still see us a little behind teams that have been together for years.  It’s something that we need to do a lot of work on and understand each other’s games.

“What this season will bring, will bring.  We’ve got a good side together. We have been backed very well by the club and by the new owners. We’ve got to put a good side together and hopefully we can go and achieve and just be successful and be competitive.

“The club wasn’t even competitive last season giving its circumstances it was in, so I just wasn’t to put a team out there again that the fans are proud off and are pretty to watch, to see a team that will go out there and give their all and with that, hopefully we can also be successful with it.”

Margate are installing an artificial pitch at Hartsdown Park, which Watt says will make the club self-efficient.

“First and foremost, it’s the best thing for the club.  To not be in a situation it’s been in many years, it’s a no brainer for a 3G to be installed and I think it’s fantastic for the new owner. 

“He’s not investing silly amounts of money in the playing side, like what’s happened before, he’s invested it in the club and I think it’s a great thing for a manager and it should be for the fans.

“You’ve got a guy now who cares for the football club and wants to make the football club well run and be self-efficient in the next couple of years.”

Watt has first-hand experience of playing on a 3G pitch during his time playing for his home-town club Maidstone United.

“Look, for me there’s not a lot of difference. I was a little bit wary when I first went on it because I was returning from a cruciate injury but I played near enough 100 games on it without any problem.  The injury side of it isn’t a relative argument anymore because of how they’re so advanced now and so technical.

“The playing surface is fantastic.  If you asked any player if they’d take an absolute grass pitch we’d play on that, but we’re not of that luxury at this level. I think the 3G pitch is going to be flat, run true.”

Billericay Town’s manager/owner Glenn Tamplin has already stated that his big-money side will win the Bostik Premier title this coming season.

It's alright throwing money at players but will they fancy midweek trips to Kent and Suffolk where they must pick up three points without fail, playing Saturday, Tuesday and Saturday for a number of weeks before Christmas?

Locally, it is hoped that Dulwich Hamlet, Margate and Tonbridge Angels can mount a serious challenge for the title.

But Watt said: “I wouldn’t be sitting here saying we are, Billericay are favourites for it.

“He’s put together a very good side there, some experienced players and it’s theirs to lose, if you like.

“But one thing I will say about this division is you can’t write anyone off, no matter what amount of money you throw to a team.

“I’ve been at this level, I know this level and that’s one thing I will say, money helps, of course it does, but a lot of it is the knowledge of the level and the work that you do on the training pitch.

“We’ll hopefully be successful and competitive is what we want to be and where we end up, we’ll end up.  I certainly won’t be saying we’ll be challenging Billericay for the league. That will be a silly, silly thing to say.”

Visit Margate’s website: www.margate-fc.co.uk