We will be doing our best to make it another successful season, says Stansfeld joint-manager Jamie Phipps
STANSFELD joint-manager Jamie Phipps says it will be another fantastic achievement from the amateur club by staying in the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division.
The Bermondsey outfit sealed promotion into the ninth-tier of English football for the first time after claiming the Southern Counties East Football League First Division title last season.
Stansfeld and play-off winners Sutton Athletic both won promotion without having a playing budget and that will be the case for the pair again this season.
“What we did last season without a budget was a great achievement and full credit has to go to the players for their commitment and dedication, especially given the amount of games that we played with our long run in The FA Vase. It certainly wasn’t what we expected when we started out in July last year,” said Phipps, who runs the team alongside Billy Hamlin.
“The biggest thing for us was to keep the majority of last year’s squad together, which we have managed to do, despite some offers from other clubs.
“We have lost a few, some have moved on to other clubs and a couple have stopped playing for personal reasons.
“We have brought Ryan Fowler in, who played a couple of games for us last season. Jordan Downes has arrived from Bridon Ropes and Greg Skinner, all experienced players who will give us good competition for places. We also have Frankie Beale back after a year out with injury.
“We have a new under 23 team, who have some fantastic players who have impressed Billy Hamlin and I in pre-season and will be pushing hard to get in the first team.”
Stansfeld kick-off their campaign with a home clash against Kevin Stevens’ Bearsted, who finished in eleventh-place last season.
“We are happy to have our opener at home but know it will be a very tough game, as every game will be at this level and to be drawn at home in The FA Cup (against Wembley, Sunday 7 August) will also hopefully be an advantage,” added Phipps.
“Our aim this season will be the same as it has been every season since Billy and I took over the first team and that will be to stay in the division which, if we manage it, will be another fantastic achievement.
“But with the team spirit we have, along with the hard work and the same commitment as the team showed last year, we think we can be competitive in what is sure to be a really strong division with some very good sides.
“We have a few players away on holiday, which I’m sure will be the same for all clubs given the early start to the season.
“Saturday will be a proud day for everyone involved with the club both past and present as it is the highest level that we have played at in our long and illustrious history and we will be doing our best to make it another successful season.”
Stansfeld v Bearsted
Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division
Saturday 30 July 2022
Kick Off 3:00pm
At Foxbury Avenue, Chislehurst, Kent BR7 6SD