Success is challenging for promotion, by getting Tunbridge Wells promoted, says Richard Styles

Friday 01st April 2022

TUNBRIDGE WELLS manager Richard Styles says he wants his club to be challenging for promotion next season.

The Wells travel to bottom-of-the-table side Tower Hamlets tomorrow, sitting in eighth-place in the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division table, having picked up 48 points.

Sheppey United clinched promotion in midweek, having won 2-1 at Crowborough Athletic and are three points clear at the top of the table, although second-placed Chatham Town have a game in hand.

Tunbridge Wells, meanwhile, put in a poor performance at home to second-from-bottom side Lordswood on Tuesday night.

Richard Dimmock’s side took the lead through winger Joshua Reid, before Styles’ side grabbed a last-gasp headed equaliser through striker Matthew Gething’s 26th goal of the season.

Styles has been a football manager for six seasons, three at Lordswood and three at Tunbridge Wells.

He was in charge of Lordswood for 143 games, winning 56, drawing 27 and losing 60, while at his current club has overseen 93 games, winning 48, drawing 15 and losing 30.

In total, Styles has been in charge of 236 games, winning 104, drawing 42 and tasted defeat on 90 occasions.

“Lordswood gave me the opportunity to get into management.  I had an enjoyable time there as a player and I enjoyed some of my time there as a manager. The time was right for me to move on. I felt I had taken them as far as I could,” said Styles.

“This challenge was a breath of fresh air and it was something that we decided was the right thing to do.  I’ve loved every single minute that I’ve been here.  We had two seasons (fifth and third) and this season we wanted to be up and around that and it hasn’t worked out but it will be nice to finish the first proper season here and then we can look at it, rebuild and go again.

“I love this club, I love Tunbridge Wells. I love everything about it and everything that comes with it and for as long as I’m here, that will continue, to get that commitment and that drive to be successful.”

Styles insists he will ensure Tunbridge Wells will be challenging for promotion next season, as they should be a lot higher than eighth-place, given their fan-base.

“Success is challenging for promotion, by getting them promoted. From an outside looking in, the clubs ready made to go. We’ve got a few things to put in place and get things ready and then stake our claim.

“I think there’s a few other teams that are saying exactly the same that I’m ready but we’ll have to worry about ourselves and do what we do and make sure we’re in a good place come the start of next season."

The relegation scrap is between Rusthall and Lordswood, who are both on 20 points and fighting it out to see who will avoid the drop.

“It’s a dogfight down there. I’m sure there will be twists and turns to come in the coming weeks. Luckily, not luckily, happily we’re nowhere near that.  I’ve got no interest being anywhere near that ever again," admitted Styles.

“We had that in our first year at Lordswood and that’s probably made me and Dan Morrin better managers and coaches for it because we dug in.  We were in a really bad place with five to go but we got ourselves out and kept Lordswood up and then we were able to push on.

“We’re fully focused on this and the job that we’ve got here and what we want to do and what we are trying to do.”

Meanwhile, Tunbridge Wells have completed the deadline day capture of attacker Kane Butler from their league rivals K Sports.