Thursday 23rd June 2005

Piggott wants to repay the faith



AFTER finishing bottom of the Kent League last season, Lordswood manager Paul Piggott is more determined not to suffer the same fate this time around, writes Stephen McCartney.

And in an EXCLUSIVE interview with www.kentishfootball.co.uk tonight, the 34-year-old, Rainham resident, revealed his side have already been training for three weeks, in a bid to improve their fortunes.

The North Dane Way outfit have, however, penciled in their pre-season friendlies, but Piggott is awaiting dates for their warm-up matches.

They face Kent County League opposition in Lewisham Borough (away), Snodland (home), Faversham Town (away) and Crockenhill (away) and are negotiating a trip to Ryman League division one newboys, Ramsgate.

"Obviously we've got to improve on last year," insists Piggott.  "Last year we took a step back playing a lot of youngsters but we've kept our faith in them and we know they'll come good for us this season.

"We'll try to add two or three to the squad, just to strengthen and give it a little bit more experience but the squad will be more or less the same."

The only way is up for the Medway side, but you have to admit the Kent League is split into two divisions in one - the club's with money will be in the top half and the club's with poor finances will be fighting amongst themselves at the bottom.

"We'd like to finish in the top half," Piggott said.  "Outside the top five teams in the league, the rest of us are battling in our own little league."

In the past two season's Lordswood have won their opening game but plummeted down the table.  

Piggott, however, wants to be consistent throughout the new campaign.

"You get a few wins under your belt early on and it's surprising how far up the table it can take you," he said.

"Last year we won our opening game of the season (at Thamesmead Town) but you need to take that on into your second, third and fourth game, which we didn't."

As at this time of the close season, players at all levels of the game, are not committing themselves to clubs, and you find several of them attending pre-season training at several clubs before deciding where to play.

"We've spoken to two or three people and are edging their bets to see if they will be playing elsewhere, which is always a case.

"We will be patient and hopefully the people we go after come to us."

Piggott is now embarking on his second full season at the club, but admitted last season's wooden spoon position tested his character - but he is coming back for more.

"It was hard, it was a test of character and willpower for myself and the team but we've started pre-season a month early and everybody's been there.

"It just shows the commitment I have and my players have got to succeed.

"There was no one more disappointed than myself finishing where we did, but the club has stuck with me and the team and we are going to repay them for the faith with a better season," Piggott promises.

The pitch, which received poor comments last season, has been re-seeded, but Piggott added: "They are doing some work on it, but obviously pitches need money, but its something we haven't got a great deal off,"

And Piggott relishes the chance of managing the club, without the added bonus of money.

"The way I see it, everyone's got to start somewhere in their management career," he said.

"There's not many managers that walk into the top jobs so it's something you need to work for and build for.

"We are trying our hardest to improve on last year - I can ensure that will be done, with a bit of luck and a lot of hard work."