Att’s the way to do it
PAUL Attfield is setting his sights high on the eve of Buntingford Town s opening league clash. He expects his side to finish in the top three in their second season in the Herts County League s top division. We were fourth last season, which was a bit o
PAUL Attfield is setting his sights high on the eve of Buntingford Town's opening league clash.
He expects his side to finish in the top three in their second season in the Herts County League's top division.
"We were fourth last season, which was a bit of a surprise as we weren't looking too good at Christmas," he said.
"We should make a better start this season and I'd be really disappointed if we didn't finish in the top three.
"We have a bigger and better squad, with a good balance of young and old players. The youngsters are a year older and all have more experience."
Town start the season with a home game against Met Police Bushey on Saturday, before making the short trip to Standon & Puckeridge on Tuesday (kick-off 6.30pm).
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But Attfield is looking further into the future. He hopes to take the club into the Ridgeons League Division One but knows his side must finish in the top three to be eligible for promotion.
"Success in the cups would be an added bonus, but the players know that we must aim for a promotion position.
"We could go into the Spartan South Midlands League Division Two now, but I think the Ridgeons League is a better prospect. I think we could hold our own in Royston's league.
"It's important that the club continues to move forward and maintains the progress it had made. We have a group of players who are loyal but they will want to progress."
One key signing for Attfield has been former Royston Town, St Margaretsbury and Hertford Town defender Chris Hardy.
Hardy, 32, who Attfield got to know at his time at Royston, has had major injury concerns in the last two years, including a complete season's break from the game while at Hertford Town.
Attfield said: "Chris is a great signing for us and will be a major asset in achieving our main goals for the season.
"This is a good, competitive level for Chris to start his comeback after being out of the game for a substantial period, and his showings in our pre-season games have shown that he still has a lot to offer."
Attfield has also added former Birmingham University striker Mark Wright to his squad, with the Stevenage-based player netting the goals in Saturday's 2-0 win over Bishop's Stortford Swifts.
Chris Wisson and Matt Turl, who only played sporadically because of university commitments, have graduated to further strengthen Attfield's squad, and he is expected give a trial to a former Stotfold player in tonight's friendly against FC Risden.
"I've used 25 players in our pre-season games, and I believe it's important that we have a strong squad," said Attfield.
Skipper Duncan Easley will be on holiday and will miss the first three games of the season. Hardy will be available for Saturday's game, he then goes away for a week.