The club wants to, of course, get back up into the league it once was. We were the first club to get relegated to this division, not in my tenure, but our target is promotion, says Holmesdale boss Lee Roots

Friday 19th July 2019

HOLMESDALE manager Lee Roots says he is targeting one of the four promotion places from the Southern Counties East Football League First Division.

The Bromley based side have finished in sixth-place in their last two seasons at this level and with four teams winning promotion at the end of the season every manager wants to take advantage of that.

Holmesdale were the better side during the first hour of their 2-2 draw at Premier Division side K Sports on Wednesday night and have the prolific strike force of Ryan Golding and Andy Constable, 40, in their ranks has turned out to be a massive coup for Roots as the prolific pair should score 40 goals between them this season.

The Dalers kick-off their league campaign with a trip to Rusthall on Saturday 3 August (15:00).

Jimmy Anderson failed to keep the Jockey Farm outfit in the Premier Division, having lost half of his 20 games in charge and the Rustics’ suffered relegation after two seasons of struggle in the top-flight.

“The fixtures are out, we’ve been looking forward to that,” said Roots.

“I’m quite excited by that fixture because I think Rusthall will be coming down with an ambition and a target to get their club up and I want to play everyone, you’ve got to beat everyone and I want to play the best teams right from the off.

“I think that puts us in good stead if we come through it.  They’re good people at that club, a nice ground.  For us it’s a good opening set of eight fixtures.”

Looking ahead to the new league season, Roots said: “Holmesdale have actually finished sixth two years in a row.

“The club wants to, of course, get back up into the league it once was. We were the first club to get relegated to this division, not in my tenure, but our target is promotion.

“When I came over and came back to the club, it was more around getting a good feel around the club, getting good players in and playing a nice brand of football but getting that buzz around Holmesdale.

“Holmesdale is a very special club. If the quality we’ve produced and what the club wants to do, our target is promotion.

“Yes, the league is opening up to four teams means everyone says the same thing but if I stayed at Forest Hill Park or came to Holmesdale, signed everyone or signed no-one, my target wouldn’t have changed.

“It’s my third year in this league and I’ve come twice in the top seven so we want to win the league.

“We want to come in the top four or top two to get promotion and we’re setting ourselves up in a good stead to do that, so we will look to do as well in all competitions as we can.  We’re in five cups, we’ve got a fantastic back-up squad in our under 23s and we are building from beyond this season.”

The arrival of Golding from Welling Town (who are preparing for life in the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division for the first time) has raised eyebrows that Holmesdale are splashing the cash this season.

When asked about his budget, Roots replied: “We don’t have any budget! People think, I know there’s a lot of talk, we have never done any budget talk.

“Of course, we’ve brought in a couple of players recently who will definitely be on an incentive basis and will be looked after by the club, but this whole thing has been built of a zero budget.

“We’ve not brought anyone on from pre-season. We have not discussed money with any player and if we do it will be a week before the season so I think that is why we are performing the way we are at the moment. A lot of it is on team spirit and if they’re chasing money at this level, they will not get it.

“To answer the question what is our budget? Minimal, next to zero and that’s the truth. It’s less than what they had last year and it’s probably the same I had at Forest Hill last year, which is nothing!”

Holmesdale continue their pre-season preparations with a trip to Chislehurst to play Glebe at Foxbury Avenue tomorrow (14:00).