I want Otford to establish themselves in the Premier, where they belong, says returning manager Mike Langston

Sunday 18th June 2017

NEWLY-APPOINTED Otford United manager Mike Langston says he wants the club to establish themselves in the Andreas Carter Joma Kent County League Premier Division next season.

The O’s secured promotion in Ricky Tompkins’ only season in charge by finishing runners-up to Lewisham Athletic on goal-difference.

Otford United won promotion to the top-flight of the
Andreas Carter Joma Kent County League in Ricky
Tompkins only season in charge of the club.
Photo: Julie Hoare

Langston explained why he left Rochester United in the summer, a club that finished in fourteenth-place in the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division last season.

“Rochester United decided on a new direction for the club with a new chairman and felt as part of that they wanted a new assistant manager and although I was asked to stay on at the club I felt my position wouldn’t be the same so didn’t really have a choice,” said Langston.

“Originally, I was there with Darren Phillips, who I followed with from Chatham Town and Charlton Athletic (Community).

“They made me very welcome.  I really enjoyed working with Matt Hume, who is a top manager and will miss the involvement at Rochester.  We built a really good squad and the players were a joy to work with.”

Langston is delighted that he has been given an opportunity to return to Otford United, who will be playing two levels lower than Rochester United next season.

He said: “I was so pleased to be offered the job of managing Otford, this being a local club for me and in fact I have returned after steering the under 17s to winning the league back in 2003-04.  After that I moved on to Tonbridge Angels, working with the youth and reserves.

“I don’t know Ricky Tompkins personally but you can’t argue with what he accomplished at the club, taking them to runners-up in the League, losing out on goal difference.  He is an ambitious manager and has moved on to Gravesham Borough.

“I’m an ambitious manager but for the club not for me, I firstly want Otford to establish themselves in the Premier, where they belong.”

Otford United play at the Recreation Ground on the High Street in the village, a picturesque setting, with floodlighting and a clubhouse that has dressing rooms and a small bar area.

The club must enclose the ground, install dug-outs and pitch perimeter fencing to be allowed promotion into the Southern Counties East Football League First Division.

Langston said: “We have the facilities that a lot of club’s would love to have.  There is no reason why we can’t move up the ladder.

“It will be tough as the Premier is a strong League but I have no doubt we can compete at this level.

“Obviously, with our facilities we can climb the ladder but moving up increases your costs and money is always tight. This is probably a question best aimed at the board but I see no reason why Otford can’t be a senior club.

“I’m looking forward to starting pre-season. I have spoken to a few players and hope to strengthen the squad and establish ourselves in the Premier.

“I am a local lad so I’m really glad to be offered this job.  There are some great club’s in the Sevenoaks area and this is certainly one.”

Meanwhile, Orpington, who were given the go-ahead to apply for voluntary relegation from the Southern Counties East Football League First Division, have been elected in the Andreas Carter Joma Kent County League Division One West.

Visit Otford United’s website: www.otfordunitedfc.co.uk