We'll do the best we can because there's no pressure on us, says play-off chasing VCD Athletic boss Keith McMahon

Wednesday 24th July 2019

VCD ATHLETIC manager Keith McMahon says he is targeting the play-offs with his young squad.

The Crayford based side opened their pre-season campaign with a 2-1 defeat at Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division side Chatham Town at the weekend and missed numerous chances during last night’s 1-1 draw at home to Waltham Abbey.

McMahon fielded eight under 20s against the Isthmian South Central Division side at Oakwood, with Charlie MacDonald leading the front line at the age of 38, having scored 34 goals for the club last season.

VCD Athletic open their campaign with a trip to Brighton to play relegated side Whitehawk on Saturday 17 August 2019.

“We’ve got quite a tough start if I’m honest.  Whitehawk have come down, they’re a big club, it’s going to be tough for us and we’re away as well,” said McMahon.

“We’re at home to Three Bridges, FA Cup and then we’ve got a local derby at Phoenix and a really tough game against one of the favourites Ramsgate here.

“It will be a good month for us but we’ve still got five games to play in pre-season and we’ll be ready come August 17th.”

McMahon revealed he will be running with an 18 man squad this season and will delve into the under 18 side if need be.

VCD Athletic finished in sixth-place in the table last season, just missing out on a play-off place by just one point.

“It didn’t bother me to be fair. We didn’t expect to be there. We can all sit there and go we dropped points here, we dropped points there.  That season’s gone and we had a fantastic year last year with a lot of good youngsters and we’ve kept 95%. We’ve kept everyone we wanted and that only bodes well.

“I’ve added five strong players. We’re maybe one out-and-out solid, massive horrible defender short, but that’s not the way we play but we’re definitely going to be an exciting side.”

McMahon wants to go one better this season and reach the play-offs.

“Play-offs all day long! Everyone has to be positive and are looking for that. 

“There’s some good sides in our league. We know the favourites’, Hastings, Ramsgate have done some business, Hythe, Ashford, Haywards Heath.

“There’s some strong sides and the sides coming down but we’re young and you can’t beat what we’ve got out there with legs.

“We’ve got the best centre forward in the league – in both leagues – so it always helps when you’ve got that.

“We’ll do the best we can because there’s no pressure on us. There’s a plan over a few stages over a few years’ with how young we are and you can see that and it bodes well with the club.”

McMahon believes VCD Athletic are operating with a midtable playing budget.

“It’s ok. It’s not massive. It’s not minute. I’d say we’re midtable and that’s no disrespect,” he said.

“Do I want more money? No! I’m happy with it.  Have the chairman and I spoken about it? No.

“I’ve got the players’ I want. We’ve spoken at the start of the season, the chairman wanted to go a certain way with the budget and we’ve gone with it.

“We’ve got a good, young side and a very good leader, who can hopefully get us to where we want to go.”

VCD Athletic continue their pre-season preparations with a trip to Park View Road to play newly-promoted side Erith & Belvedere on Thursday night (19:45).