The club will never go through what we did last season, insists Meridian VP's promotion chasing manager Dwinder Tamna
MERIDIAN VP’S newly-appointed manager Dwinder Tamna vows to guide the Charlton-based club towards one of the four promotion places in the Southern Counties East Football League First Division next season.
The club finished rock bottom of the table last season, having finished with seven wins and three draws from their 34 league games and escaped relegation along with Rochester United due to a reprieve.
Tamna has appointed Nick Cella (assistant), Lewin Craig (coach), Stephen McRaye (coach), Dean Cooke (goalkeeper coach), Anthony Ellis (goalkeeper coach), Harrison Barnes (coach), Andrew Ibitoye (head physio) while former Lewisham Borough and Fisher midfielder Tim Moffatt has been appointed team captain.
“Mine and the clubs ambitions and target this season, without doubt, is promotion, securing a top three position,” Tamna told www.meridianfc.co.uk.
“We are working hard to build a squad and a team to compete and meet those targets.
“A good healthy run in The FA Vase and other cup runs would be a nice bonus to which we will push and will also give us an opportunity to give plenty of games to our squad. I am also looking forward to our first entry into the London Senior Trophy.”
Reflecting on their last campaign, Tamna pulled no punches.
“Last season was the worst ever on record but with that comes a change and silver lining, a mind-set change is one," he said.
“Main reasons I see for the demise was the lack of quality, turnover of too many players, management disarray, too many fundamental mistakes which were ever too present.
“This will be corrected, without doubt, this season. Sometimes you have to get taught a lesson to learn from it and this will definitely be learnt from.
“The key for success is everyone in the set-up of the club pulling in the same direction. We need on field consistency, direction, desire, end product, no mistakes, basically everything and anything that will provide a solid platform for all to excel on and from to achieve our goals.”
The Meridian VP chairman also reflected on the club retaining their league status.
“Last season was a pressured time but I saw the danger signs way back in October 2018,” said Tamna.
“With hard work going on behind the scenes with The FA and the League it was all in the balance. Let’s say it was an uncomfortable time until I found out we had been reprieved, which was a huge relief.
The club lost the services of assistant manager Greg Affonso on 29 May.
Tamna said: “Unfortunately Greg decided to leave. The pressure was immense on Greg for a variety of reasons, I presume.
“Greg left for family reasons to spend more time with family and plus the opportunity I think to work with Southend United. I thank Greg for all his hard work over the past two seasons and wish him the very best.”
Meridian reported for pre-season training this evening, the first club in the entire Southern Counties East Football League to do so.
“The main focus is to assess the right players,” explained Tamna.
“Do they have the commitment needed to play at this level? Can we create a good team spirt and environment?
“The fixtures we have during pre-season will bring some really good challenges so I’m looking forward to that.
“Training sessions will focus on doing the work with the ball, ensuring players are fit and ready for a competitive season.
“Pre-season is early, reason being the club will never go through what we did last season!
“It will be a total new build of the squad. Everyone’s on a clean slate. With a new build it takes longer, with retained players you know what they can do so you have that advantage. I want my management to assess everything, discus ideas, discuss players only then to make sure we have the right balance and mix.
“There has been a decent interest (for tonight’s open trial). There are many players from good levels and of good experience willing to show up and make a difference.
“It is safe to say I and the management are excited and relish the challenge to select the right squad – you will see a new look MVP!”
Meridian VP’s opening pre-season fixture is against Welling Town on Wednesday 3 July 2019.
Visit Meridian VP’s website: www.meridianfc.co.uk