Bearsted boss Kevin Stevens: We are already planning for pre-season, looking to add some new faces to the squad as we look to build on our first season in the SCEFL Premier

Friday 21st April 2017

BEARSTED boss Kevin Stevens says he is already planning for the club’s second season in the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division.

The Bears claimed the last ever Kent Invicta League title last season and went up with runners-up Sheppey United.

The two sides played each other at Holm Park sharing the spoils in a game of six goals and Bearsted go into their final two league games sitting in thirteenth-place in the table with 41 points from their 36 league outings.

“Last Monday we had a very entertaining 3-3 draw away to Sheppey United,” said Stevens.

“We played on a superb surface. I’m sure it was a game the 383 spectators enjoyed.  For me I was a little disappointed we didn’t take all three points.

“The lads put in a very good first half performance and really the game should have been out of sight by half-time.

“As is the case at 2-0 the next goal is always important and it fell to Sheppey just before the break.

“They are a good side and played much better in the second half as we thought they would.  Some sloppy defending cost us and with five minutes to go we found ourselves 3-2 down.

“Credit to the lads though, they showed good character to get back to 3-3 and really should have won the game with three good chances near the end.”

Bearsted host Erith & Belvedere tomorrow, one of five sides that can still be one of two relegated sides.

Stevens said: “Tomorrow we host Erith & Belvedere, a game I’m expecting to be extremely tough as they are fighting to get out of the relegation positions.

“Our form of late has been really good, probably our best spell of football this season.

“I’ve been able to add some new faces to the squad which has given us a few more options and more quality in certain areas.

“Confidence is high, hopefully we can maintain our good form until the end of the season.”

Reflecting on their first season at this level, Stevens said: “As a whole our first season at this level has been a really tough one, but one that I and everyone at Bearsted FC have really enjoyed.

“After the highs of winning the Kent Invicta League last season it took us longer than expected to come to terms with the quality and pace of this league.

“Injuries played a big part early on. Last season we could get away with a weakened side, this season it hurt us. Winning away to Ashford in our ninth game came as a huge relief.

“As you know there is a lot of money in this league now which is helping clubs attract quality players from higher leagues. Every week is a big test for us in our first season in this league.

“Do you know what? What a challenge for a club like ours who compete without any budget at all!

“Myself and my management team work doubly hard scouting our opposition every week, preparing sessions and working on game plans to get the most from games and credit to our squad who have been exceptional in implementing those ideas every week.

“At times with so many players missing it’s been hard. It doesn’t always work out but their commitment has been second to none.

“New signings and a fit squad have been a big bonus this second half of the season and have had a big impact on recent performances.

“Along with my coaching staff we are already planning for pre-season, looking to add some new faces to the squad as we look to build on our first season in the SCEFL Premier.”

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Bearsted  v   Erith & Belvedere
Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division
Saturday 22nd April 2017
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Otham Sports Ground, Honey Lane, Otham, Maidstone, Kent ME15 8RG