We want to enjoy our home games, says Tonbridge Angels coach Justin Luchford
TONBRIDGE ANGELS coach Justin Luchford says his side must impress home fans at Longmead Stadium this season.
The Angels finished fifth-from-bottom in the Ryman Premier League in Steve McKimm’s first season in charge at Longmead Stadium, before they finished in fourth-place last time out, losing 2-0 to East Thurrock United in the play-off semi-finals.
The Rocks then pulled off a shock 3-1 home win over Dulwich Hamlet in the Final to seal their place in the National League South for the first time.
“I think you’ve got to remember last year we very much exceeded expectations but we want to be up there again if we can,” said Luchford.
“We’re not the type of club that’s going to shout from the roof tops that we’re going to do this and do that. We start like last year, top eight. If we can get the top eight and we’re there and there abouts in March and April, whether we’re seventh, whether we’re second, wherever we’ll be and we’ve got a chance of doing something then we’ll try and go and do it. At the moment, let’s just keep ourselves in the pack.”
Luchford was asked which clubs he feels will be challenging for promotion to Vanarama National League South.
“I think Havant are still going to be up there. They’ve got, from what I understand, a very good budget. Jason Prior doesn’t necessarily leave Bognor for 5p so I’m pretty sure they’ve got a decent budget down there.
“You never write off the likes of Dulwich. I think Lowestoft will be up there. Leiston will still be in and around like they were last year.
“East Thurrock have gone, I’m just trying to think who were in the play-offs? Bognor, I know Jason Prior’s gone but they’ll do well down there.
“You could pick 10 sides. Enfield, there and there abouts towards the end. Wingate & Finchley weren’t out of it until towards the end. There’s plenty of sides but we want to keep ourselves in the pack.”
Tonbridge Angels are in action on Saturday when defender Jon Heath has his Testimonial Match.
Former Tonbridge boss Tommy Warrilow brings his Thamesmead Town side to Longmead Stadium and former Angels striker Jon Main will be making a guest appearance for his old club.
Luchford is keen for his side to impress in front of their home fans, starting with the Ryman Premier League kick-off against Wingate & Finchley on 13 August.
“That’s all we’re concerned about and we’re trying to open up with a win,” he said.
“The one thing last season our away form was fantastic. It was the best in the league but our home form was nowhere near in the league so we have to try and turn that around this year and get some more points at home because the fans’ deserve it and we work hard and we want to enjoy our home games as well and that’s the one thing we’ll be pointing to.”
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