I think the league is wide open next year - I've settled for three years' in this division now and I'm going to go for it next season, reveals Punjab United chairman/manager Chipie Sian

Tuesday 29th March 2022

PUNJAB UNITED chairman/manager Chipie Sian has thrown his name into the ring when it comes for challenging for the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division title next season.

The Gravesend-based club are currently in thirteenth-place in the table, having collected 35 points from their 32 games.

Punjab United are clear from relegation but Sian stated last night after their 3-3 draw against Welling Town, that he suffered from sleepless nights earlier on in the season with his club hovering above the drop zone.

Chatham Town and Sheppey United are both fighting it out for the league title – both level on 87 points while Punjab United are 16 points clear of the relegation zone before tonight’s games.

With Chatham Town and Sheppey United expected to be in the Isthmian League next season, Sian insists the league will be wide open next season.

“I think any team can (win it next season) and I don’t blame them.  You see these teams in the top 5-10, why not? Why can’t anyone dream that they can go and win it themselves, especially with those two out,” said Sian.

“Chatham and Sheppey have got great budgets and set-ups and you can’t knock that – we expect them to go up and I think they’ll do well going up in the next division.

“I think the league’s wide open next year and I really do believe that.  I’m hoping to go for it, I’m going to go for it, why not?

"What are we playing for?  I’ve settled for three years in this division now and now I’m going to go for it next season, why not?

“I need to get my squad early.  For two seasons when I went back-to-back promotions I got my squad in early. We won the Kent County League Premier, I signed Paul Lorraine and Lofty (Joe Loft) and we signed them the first week in May and we won the SCEFL First Division and then we went in the Premier and we waited and we waited and we waited.

“We had a lot of work going on behind the scenes at the ground so I couldn’t invest in the squad too much, so that had to come first and this year is the first time we’re doing well behind the bar, we’ve got the whole ground set up, the training facilities are great, so why not, why not, why not go for it?”

Punjab United welcome the league leaders Chatham Town to the Elite Venue on Saturday.

Sheppey United, meanwhile, can leapfrog over Kevin Hake's side by avoiding defeat at Crowborough Athletic tonight, while Lordswood can leapfrog over Rusthall and climb out of the relegation zone with a win at Tunbridge Wells tonight.

This article was published before tonight's games took place.