It's a tough start but we are up for it and ready to go, says Phoenix Sports boss Paul Bryon

Friday 18th September 2020

PHOENIX SPORTS manager Paul Bryon says his club cannot compete financially against the big clubs in his division but insists his players will give their all in every game.

Bryon takes his side down to Ashford United tomorrow to play Tommy Warrilow’s side on the opening day of the Isthmian League South East Division season, before a home game against Herne Bay follows on Tuesday night.

Phoenix Sports have already played two FA Cup ties, beating Lancing 11-10 on penalties before they were knocked out by their league rivals East Grinstead Town 3-2 last Saturday.

“We’re looking forward to the league starting again. It’s been a while since our last league game away at Haywards Heath before lockdown,” said Bryon.

“We have had two competitive games in The FA Cup, one win on pens and one defeat.

“At Lancing, I thought we did well after a poor start, which was inevitable with the M25 being shut and a couple of players did not make it in time for kick-off.

“After 20 minutes we got going and went in at 3-2 up. We had three very good chances second half, which would have seen the game out but we did not take them and they capitalised on a mistake in the last three minutes. However, we won a great penalty shoot-out.”

Bryon added: “Against East Grinstead, we were just naïve. We had a lot of possession but three pieces of naivety cost us three goals and we were 3-0 down at half-time.

“Second half was better and we won that 2-0 so a better performance but a winnable game that we lost.

“We have some changes in personnel this year, the most we have had since I have been manager and it will take time for those to bed in.

“Five of our starting line-up were not with us last year and we are still getting used to each other.”

Looking ahead to tomorrow’s trip to Ashford, the Phoenix Sports boss said:  “We’re away to Ashford this week first game of the season, then we’re at home to Herne Bay, which is a tough start but we are up for it and ready to go.

“We know it will be tough down there but I believe every game in this league is tough.

“We want to play against good sides and compete. We have shown last season that we can compete.

“It will be interesting to see what this season is like, there are a few teams spending big and making high profile signings.

“We can’t do that as we just don’t have the funds but I would like to say what a great job all of the board and volunteers have done during lockdown to keep Phoenix afloat and to keep them at this level.”

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Ashford United  v  Phoenix Sports
Isthmian League South East Division
Saturday 19 September 2020
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Homelands Stadium, Ashford Road, Kingsnorth, Ashford, Kent TN26 1NJ