If you don’t have the ambition to go up, then you’re setting yourself up for failure so for us our ambition is promotion, says FC Elmstead assistant manager Gerry Gonnella

Sunday 14th July 2019

FC ELMSTEAD assistant manager Gerry Gonnella says the club are going to be one of the four sides that will be challenging for promotion in the Southern Counties East Football League First Division.

The Hextable-based outfit finished in the bottom six last season but are looking to put that behind them and challenge for the extended promotion spots.

“I’ve been saying to these lot being like the silent team when no one’s talking about them, you just creep up and hopefully go for promotion and that’s our plan,” said Gonnella, whose brother Ennio is manager.

“We’re not doing much talking or publicity on social media, we’re just keeping ourselves to ourselves.

“Four go up and I’ll be very surprised it’s happened with four teams going up, so we want to take advantage of it.

“We believe we’ve got a team more than capable of challenging and win the league. If not win it, definitely capable of challenging.

“If you don’t have the ambition to go up, then you’re setting yourself up for failure so for us our ambition is promotion.”

After a successful season trialing Sin Bins in the entire Kent County League next season, players will be shown a yellow card and told to sit or stand in the technical area for 10 minutes should they show dissent towards the three match officials or any other player on the pitch.

“Oh god! Does that count for managers as well? I’m going to be in there a hell of a lot so I better get used to it and there’s certain players’ in our team who will get used to it,” said Gonnella.

“I’m not a fan.  You either send them off or you don’t! If I’m a player, I love it because you’re thinking ‘come on ref, sorry, give me a couple of minutes and I’ll come back on’, but I don’t know.

“It’s something they want to experiment, I’m more than happy to see how it goes but I think everyone’s going to have their different opinions on it.

“It’s like VAR, for example, people have different opinions on it, so I’d rather have VAR but it is what it is.”

League rivals Holmesdale are currently sending out big messages to the rest of the league, having signed up prolific striker Ryan Golding, winger Harry Gamble and central midfielder Jamie Taylor, who have all quit newly-promoted Premier Division side Welling Town to stay in the tenth tier of English football.

“I think it will be close again,” said assistant manager Gonnella, after both the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division and First Division title races were settled by just one point last season.

“There’s a good six or seven teams that will challenge for the top four spots.

“I’ve heard there’s money being thrown about at the moment from certain teams, I don’t know who but whether that’s true or not, I just think it’s going to be competitive. There’s six or seven teams and there might be a few surprise packages.”