I think it's going to be a very open league, I really can't pick someone whose going to win it because I don't know, says Lydd Town boss Liam Smith

Sunday 29th July 2018

LYDD TOWN manager Liam Smith says he is buzzing ahead of the new Southern Counties East Football League First Division campaign.

The club completed their campaign in tenth-place last season and they host fourth-placed finishers Erith & Belvedere on Saturday.

“I was looking at the SCEFL website on Saturday morning and I’ve seen people voting who they think will be strong this year and who will be weak and what not, which I think is pretty mad really because how do you know whose signed and who will travel well and stuff,” said Smith.

“Erith & Belvedere are going to be a very tough side by the looks of their previous years and the squad they have in.

“They’ve got an experienced manager, I think they’ve got three managers now and they’re going to be up for it, like hopefully my players are.  I’m sure there will be some tough decisions to make between now and then.”

Lydd Town suffered a 5-0 defeat in their penultimate pre-season friendly at Premier Division side Deal Town yesterday and host Kent County League side Ashford on Tuesday night (19:45).

“I’m just raring to go really. I lost the buzz towards the end of last season, probably for the last 10 games and went through the motions a little bit when you’re out of the cups and sitting just above midtable.

“I’m really happy, I’ve got the buzz back and my players are going to work their nuts off.

“I’m disappointed with the Deal result, of course I am, no one wants to lose a game of football.  It’s a friendly, we come to Deal, who are friends of ours and we do it every year and we’ll move on from this and learn from this and hopefully do better.”

Smith calls for consistency from his players to improve their league campaign this time out.

“Out of the first 10 games, we’ve got seven at home so if we are going to be successful and have a good season, we have to make our home ground a fortress like it was a couple years back when we came second when my dad Dave was manager and I was just an assistant,” said Smith.

“We’ve definitely got to improve our home form if we want to do anything.

“Our aspirations is to improve.  I’m going to sit on the fence but I’ve got my targets from my chairman and the board. We’re not going to turn around and say we don’t want to win it.  Every team would, even if they’re not the best of sides but we’re competing against some very good sides like Erith & Belvedere.

“It’s our consistency, if we can find that consistency I think you’ll find us in and around the top five mark and maybe even higher. If we can score a few more goals than we have been in pre-season, we’ve been struggling for goals in pre-season.”

Smith remains unclear who the big hitters will be in the First Division this season but big-spending Welling Town will certainly be up there and are the team to beat.

“There’s no particular budget, there’s people who help out who sponsor a few people and we’re still talking to those people at the moment. We don’t work with a budget because we’re not cash rich as a club,” revealed Smith.

“Our chairman Pat Lindsey has done brilliant to spend his own money on the ground improvements.  The ground looks absolutely amazing. Our pitch is doing really well apart from the dryness.  We’re looking to get irrigation next summer, that’s going to be the next money spent out. We look to improve as a club and make sure we don’t do nothing stupid but live within our means.

“I’m expecting an open league. I don’t think there’s a clear favourite this year. I think if you said to me last year the same question, K Sports and Punjab were very obvious.

“I think Punjab will do extremely well in the next league because of their backing and K Sports won’t go silly with money but I still think they’ll still have a good season and kick on and sustain it the year after.

“There’s no stand out team in our league that we’re scared off and I think it’s going to be a very open league. I can’t really pick someone out whose going to win it because I don’t know!”

Visit Lydd Town’s website: www.lyddtownfc.co.uk

Lydd Town  v  Erith & Belvedere
Southern Counties East Football League First Division
Saturday 4 August 2018
Kick Off 3:00pm
at The Lindsey Field, Dengemarsh Road, Lydd, Kent TN29 9JH