I think we'll surprise a few people, warns VCD Athletic boss Keith McMahon
VCD ATHLETIC manager Keith McMahon says he is feeling like a kid in a candy shop as he prepares to manage the club in their second campaign in the Ryman Premier League.
It has been a re-building job this summer at Oakwood after former manager Tony Russell left to manage Cray Wanderers in the Ryman League Division One North, taking a majority of the players with him to Hayes Lane.
The Vickers kick-off their league campaign with a visit of relegated side Farnborough on Saturday, 8 August, before travelling to Ryman League Division One South champions Burgess Hill Town on Wednesday 12 August.
Reflecting on his return to VCD, McMahon said: “It’s a great club! It’s a club I started with. It was difficult with no players’ but it’s what I’m good at. I watch games and I know a lot of players and it gave me that buzz back.
“I got disheartened at Thamesmead, as I said before, nothing to do with the football club – it was off it – and I needed something like that to give me that hunger and buzz back and when we started getting the players at pre-season, I was completely buzzing!
"We’ve got a half decent side here. The chairman Gary Rump works his absolute backside off. We’ve been there during every day doing bits around the club and the pitch. It’s a club that gives 100% and we’re triers.
“It’s familiar me being around the club because that’s where I started and I know everyone there so that’s helped me out.
“We’ve done every training session there so the players’ get used to the club. We’re all going out for a meal on the Thursday before the season so we’re getting them together as much as we can so they can gel, it’s working slowly now.”
McMahon, who managed Thamesmead Town in their sole Ryman Premier League campaign in 2013-14, says he is fully prepared for this division this term.
“I think we’ll be fine. It’s a league I know well as we was in it once a couple of years ago,” he said.
“I’ve watched a hell of a lot of games in it last year, obviously I do the radio, so I know all about it.
“We’ve got a hungry set of lads. We’ve got a lot of youngsters in there and although they don’t look like it, we’ve got four nineteen-year-olds.
“We’ll do alright. I think we’ll surprise a few people. I’ll make sure we do well, give it 150%”
Looking ahead to their start against relegated Farnborough and newly-promoted Burgess Hill Town, McMahon said: “It’s a tough game for us. We’ve got a tough start, going away to Burgess Hill on the Wednesday.
“We’ll be ready to go tomorrow through enthusiasm and fitness because we look very fit at the moment.
“Burgess Hill are going to be a tough side, especially at their ground. It’s a tough place to go.
“We (Thamesmead) played them in the cup a few years ago. They’ve got some good players. I know quite a lot of them as well and that’s going to be a hard game, so we need to get the best start we can and hopefully get off to a promising start and kick-on.”
Russell kept the club in the Ryman Premier League after winning their last six games to finish in 18th place.
When asked the club’s aspirations this season, McMahon replied: “Just to finish higher than what they did! Staying up is the main thing, that’s everybody’s objective but we need a good start.
“We’ve got the spirit and if the club can improve on last year then the club’s going in the right direction.
“They had an excellent season last year staying up in their first year. They done a great job as a club and hopefully we can continue that and push the club forward.”
When asked about if there’s any shirts still up for grabs ahead of the Farnborough game, the Vickers boss replied: “There’s a couple of places coming up for grabs.
“I’ve still got the same passion, I’m buzzing at the moment. I’m like a kid in a candy shop.”
Visit VCD Athletic’s website: www.vcd-athletic-fc.com
VCD Athletic v Farnborough
Ryman Premier League
Saturday 8th August 2015
Kick Off 3:00pm
At Oakwood, Old Road, Crayford, Kent DA1 4DN