All we can guarantee is that we will be giving our all to entertain and win as many games as possible, vows Lordswood assistant manager Michael Jones

Wednesday 27th July 2022

LORDSWOOD assistant manager Michael Jones says he is keen to make it a much enjoyable season this time around.

Richard Dimmock takes charge of his 20th game when his side welcome Erith & Belvedere to Martyn Grove on Saturday, keen to improve on their fortunes.

Lordswood finished second-from-bottom in the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division last season, picking up 24 points from their 38 games, the same number of points as third-from-bottom side Rusthall.

Neither team suffered relegation but basement side Tower Hamlets switched back over to the Essex ranks for this season.

“Well, obviously finishing second from bottom was not great but when you look at the fact that we only came in with a few months left of the season, The team only had eight points in March,” recalled Jones.

“We had to rebuild the entire team and yet we managed to stay up on the last day with a last minute penalty.  It’s safe to say we saw it as a huge success in the end.”

Dimmock and Jones have brought in several new faces ahead of the visit of Erith & Belvedere, where manager Tony Beckingham takes charge for the first time, against Lordswood.

“Our transfers have gone well, we’re very pleased.  In short, we’ve managed to get every transfer over the line that we wanted and we’d started this planning at the back end of last season,” said Jones.

“We knew exactly what we needed to strengthen and we worked incredibly hard to speak with those players and get them on board.

“A big thing for us is also the off-the-pitch side of things, the mentality, and people that want to be a part of the club, the togetherness, etc.  This has played a big part in our conversations and we’ve seen that really kick in during pre-season, the squad has gelled very, very quickly.

“We’re really looking forward to the opening game and it’s great to be at home for the first match.

“We’re extremely confident in the squad that we’ve put together and although we know Erith & Belvedere will be an incredibly tough fixture, at the same time we’re also looking forward to being able to challenge ourselves against the best.”

When asked about Lordswood’s aspirations for the season ahead, Jones made it clear that improvement is key.

“Our aspirations are always to be as successful as possible and to progress the club on and off the pitch.  That being said, we’re realistic and we know that it will be a very competitive league with many teams hopeful of having strong seasons.

“All we can guarantee is that we will be giving our all to entertain and win as many games as possible.

“I think the league will be very competitive this season, possibly as competitive as it has been for quite some time.  There are a lot of very good sides, a lot of new management teams in and some really strong new sides that have come into the league.  All in all, it should make for an exciting season.

“We have a positive headache, which as a manger is all I can ask for.  Not only do we have a very good squad, but we also have a great under 23 side with several players that are really pushing the first team, which is a nice position to be in.”

Jones added:  “I personally just want to call out all of the people behind the scenes that make things tick at the club.  The chairman, committee, management team, physio, kit man, etc. There are so many people that really put in so many hours to make things happen and for me it’s so great to see everyone have such togetherness and be on the same page in how and where we want to take the club forward.

“It’s a lot of hard work for a lot of people and my job is to make sure as a team we give everyone something to enjoy and get behind this season.”

Lordswood  v  Erith & Belvedere
Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division
Saturday 30 July 2022
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Martyn Grove, North Dane Way, Chatham, Kent ME5 8YE