It's going to be a really tough league, says Phoenix Sports boss Paul Bryon
PHOENIX SPORTS manager Paul Bryon says he’s expecting a tough league this season.
Phoenix Sports completed their Bostik South Division campaign in eleventh-place last season and kick-off their new campaign with a trip to Matt Longhurst’s East Grinstead Town on Saturday.
“East Grinstead have been busy in the summer. I’ve been keeping my eye on them,” said Bryon, who has lost the services of first team coach Grant Spelling.
“It’s going to be a tough game going down there. We’ve played each other a few times and it’s been fairly even really since I’ve been at Phoenix.
“They’ve signed a good player (from Margate) in Sid Sollis. We played against him three times last year because he moved from Hythe to Ashford and he’s a decent player. His movement is good, his touch is good and he knows the game well, so we’ll have to keep him quiet. They’ve got experience at the back. I’m looking forward to it.”
Phoenix Sports lost striker Ben Allen, 17, to Sky Bet League One side Gillingham last month and Bryon wishes him well as he lands a job as a professional footballer.
“Really pleased for Ben. I’ve known Ben since he was about 14, maybe a bit younger. I used to coach him. We’ll keep tabs with him.
“He went to Colchester and it didn’t work out for him and he went to Gillingham and he’s done really well and deserves everything that he’s got.
“He’s got a little bit about him, he’s got a bit of an attitude, not in a negative way, in a positive way. He believes in himself and he’s a very, very good footballer.”
When asked about his side’s aspirations for the nine months ahead, the Phoenix Sports boss replied: “For us we’re going to go out there and just try to win as many games as possible.
“We’re a small club, I know I’ve got less money than Chatham and they’re in a league below us. Our aspirations are to go out there and play a bit of football and enjoy our time and win as many games as possible.
“We’re not going to put a position on it. The league is shortened by a couple of the teams.
“It’s going to be a really tough league. There’s a lot of money being spent elsewhere so you don’t really know what teams are going to turn up until you get out there but we’re going to be pushing and trying as hard as we can.”
Phoenix Sports will play 24 Kent derbies in their 38 match league campaign this season, which will be good for the finances but every game will be like a battle.
“Hythe will be decent, Cray will be really decent. Hastings will be up there. Horsham have changed a lot. Greenwich Borough, I’m not sure about, they’ve got a whole new team but there’s some good sides out there and we’ll go out there every Saturday and give it everything that we’ve got and see where it gets us.
“What I’m pleased about is there’s not as many Tuesday night games. The distance to travel is not as bad but when we were in the North Division the Tuesday nights away to Maldon and stuff like that were a bit of a pain but people have got jobs and getting everywhere was difficult.
“But I like playing football matches and it’s never here or there for me. It’s still going to be tough and there’s going to be plenty of football.”
Visit Phoenix Sports’ website: www.phoenixsportsclub.co.uk
East Grinstead Town v Phoenix Sports
Bostik South East Division
Saturday 11 August 2018
Kick Off 3:00pm
at East Court, College Lane, East Grinstead, West Sussex RH19 3LS