Sunday 19th June 2005

Fisher want to keep their good standards

WAYNE BURNETT has challenged his Fisher Athletic side to repeat the trick and grab a second successive promotion after running away with the Southern League Division One East title.

Fisher will be competing in the Ryman Premier League next term after a reshuffle - and Burnett has his sights firmly set on a promotion campaign.

He told the Non League Paper: "We were delighted to win the league by nine points - we think we were good value for it.  

"Because we started off so well people might have predicted we would do OK, but we had a tricky period and then came on strong at the end.  We really think we can have another good season next time around."

The former Conference club are on the rise after years in the doldrums.  They have had to reform numerous times but are one again looking up after winning the league and the London Senior Cup, crushing Wingate & Finchley 4-0 in the final.

Burnett, who left Grimsby Town as a player to take up Fisher's managerial post to be near his sick daughter, added: "The priority was always the league, but to win the London Cup was the icing on the cake.

"The players worked their socks off so it was a nice way to end any season."

The sceptics will say the double was the least Fisher should have won given their reported wage bill.

But Burnett denies his side were bankrolled to the championship - preferring instead to heap praise on his players' work rate and their ability to come through a rough patch.

"Don't believe everything you hear," he said sharply.  "The players have done consistently well and that has been shown after finishing nine points ahead in the league. 

"What pleased me most were the goals we were scoring and the way we responded when we had a blip.

"We were scoring at will some weeks, which was good to watch."

That couldn't be better emphasises after taking a glance at their August results.

The Fish hit the ground running, winning all six of their first month fixtures and scoring an amazing 26 goals in that time.

They started by easing past Maldon Town on the opening day and a week later crushed Tilbury 9-2.

Wins against Leighton Town, Chatham Town and a 6-0 home victory to Beaconsfield SYCOB rounded off a perfect month.

Fisher, however, ended the season in just as convincing fashion, romping home in the final weeks despite a mid-season blip which saw them swap palaces with runners-up East Thurrock United.

"I was delighted with the start but the problem was we set our standard," added Burnett.  "Maybe we didn't quite live up to the first month but at no point we let ourselves down - we always thought we had enough to win it."