Chatham Town boss James Collins: I want to win everything I’m in! What’s the point in being in something if you don’t want to win it?
CHATHAM TOWN manager James Collins says his side will be given plenty of fitness tests this week.
Chatham Town travel to Southern Counties East Football League First Division side Greenways on Tuesday night, Kent County League Division One West side Metrogas on Wednesday, host Gillingham on Friday and travel to Isthmian League South East Division side VCD Athletic next Saturday.
The visit of Gillingham is to open the brand new 3G playing surface at Maidstone Road on Friday night, the game kicking off earlier at 19:00.
“We will probably take 14 to Greenways, another 14 to Metrogas, split both teams up again and Gillingham will look to give 70 minutes and 20 and VCD 70 minutes and 20 again,” said Collins.
“We then play Rochester, Sittingbourne and Cray Valley and they’re the ones I’ll be looking to go with a smaller squad but at the moment we’re just trying to get everyone ready.”
Looking ahead to the pitch opener against their League One neighbours, Collins revealed: “I understand Steve Evans is coming down with Paul Scally to open the pitch and their first team are coming down to sign autographs for Gillingham fans.
“I think it’s an under 23 side and it will be a good fitness test for us and we’re looking forward to it.”
Chatham Town finished last season in the top four in the Southern Counties East football League Premier Division but they did put the Kent Senior Trophy and the Challenge Cup in the trophy cabinet.
“My aspirations are always the same,” said Collins, whose side finished 12 points adrift of promoted champions Cray Valley (Paper Mills).
“I want to win it. I want to win everything I’m in! What’s the point in being in something if you don’t want to win it?
“I learnt a lot about players, I learnt a lot about how maybe to better manage or with a bigger budget than I’m used to.
“There’s always pressure on me. I would want to win the league if I had no money. I think what I experienced most when you have a bigger budget players’ come with more professionalism and what I probably learn the little things are very important so just getting the basics right.
“I think we were very good last year and had a very good side and had a very good season but we just fell short in five or six areas in just a little bit and if we had improved two areas we would have gone even closer.
“I can’t say it’s false the position we finished in, but I felt our last month of the season was horrendous!
“We just need to tweak a couple of things but certainly shape, organisation and discipline, all those kind of things, we need to improve on.”
The two divisions of the Southern Counties East Football League will have players sent to the Sin Bin for 10 minutes for showing dissent towards the three match officials and other players’ on the pitch.
“I went to the Sin Bin meeting and I just think it’s one of those ones. It is the ruling, you have got to deal with it! You can moan about it and think it’s not a god idea,” said Collins.
“I’m pleased I went because a lot of people say 75% of the people who tried it wanted to carry on with it so honestly I don’t think football needs to be changed. I think it’s going to be hard for referees and linesmen. I think will be hot for the first couple of months and will probably die down.
“I suppose people thought the back pass rule was silly at the time didn’t they and it’s something people just get used to really.
“I’m sceptical like everyone else but they are the rules and you have to deal with it and time will tell if it’s a good thing or a bad thing.
“Hopefully they don’t bring it in for tackles because that will be a bit silly. At the meeting they said this is not actually a FA rule, it’s a FIFA rule and all countries were told they were able to do that and in Belgium they’re doing it for tackles as well. It’s the English FA that said they will only do it for dissent.
“If it’s for tackles you don’t really want to be watching 10 v 11 because the team with 10 are probably going to sit in and it’s won’t speed up the game. I don’t know, time will tell.”
Visit Chatham Town’s website: www.chathamtownfc.com