I think our baseline is to get our highest finish at this level if possible, says Chatham Town boss Kevin Watson
CHATHAM TOWN manager Kevin Watson says he wants to guide the club to their highest finish for 28 years at the end of the season.
The Chats made a welcome return to the Ryman League Division One South after spending four season’s in the Northern Division.
They came away from relegated side Peacehaven & Telscombe with a 4-0 win on the opening day of the season but crashed back down to earth after South Park snatched a 2-1 win at Maidstone Road on Tuesday night.
Chatham Town finished in ninth place (of 20 teams) in the old Southern League Southern Division back in 1987 and finished in tenth place (of 20 teams) in their first ever Ryman League Division One North campaign in 2008-09.
“I think our baseline is to get our highest finish at this level if possible,” said Watson.
“Top half finish, I think, is not beyond us if I’m honest. We’ll see how it goes. There’s a lot to learn, I probably took for granted how much I knew about the teams I knew in the North.
“It’s something that we embrace and look forward to. It’s good for the club and we need to enjoy it and we need to be fairly aspirational without being over optimistic and unrealistic.”
Hastings United have won both of their opening games of the season beating Chipstead 6-0 at The Pilot Field and Sittingbourne 3-1 at Woodstock Park and sit proudly at the top of the table.
Saturday’s game should attract a crowd of over 300 to Maidstone Road and Watson is relishing the opportunity to host a big game again.
He said: “We’ve played Peacehaven, you wouldn’t necessarily say are local and obviously South Park aren’t local but there’s a lot of games coming up and they’re two teams I didn’t know much about. The more local ones you do tend to know more about.
“Hopefully it depends what games it clashes with doesn’t it but they should hopefully bring a few. They’ll be very aspirational this season. I no doubt they’ve gone out and got some players. I know they’re well-resourced financially. It doesn’t always buy success but they’ve had a good start.”
Watson, who lives in Brentwood, Essex, admitted it’s easier to attract players to the club now.
“I always said it will always be easy to attract players being in the South and it has been slightly easier albeit they’re not always directly local,” said Watson, who has signed a handful of players who reside in south-east London.
“We’re pleased with the squad that we’ve got at this stage. We’ve signed Richard Davis on Monday. He’s been down at Canvey Island in pre-season. If we need to continue to sign people we will continue to do so as and when but I’m interested to see how the squad we’ve got at the moment gets on.”
Visit Chatham Town’s website: www.chathamtownfc.info
Chatham Town v Hastings United
Ryman League Division One South
Saturday 15th August 2015
Kick Off 3:00pm
At Maidstone Road, Bournville Avenue, Chatham, Kent ME4 6LR