Attfield's target is promotion
PUBLISHED: 18:44 06 August 2008 | UPDATED: 15:50 11 May 2010
ROYSTON Town manager Paul Attfield needs just one word to rouse his charges for the forthcoming season - promotion. The Crows boss is unshakeable in his pursuit, and believes his young side are more than capable of securing their passage back to the Sou
ROYSTON Town manager Paul Attfield needs just one word to rouse his charges for the forthcoming season - promotion.
The Crows boss is unshakeable in his pursuit, and believes his young side are more than capable of securing their passage back to the South Midlands Premier Division.
Taking charge from November last year, Attfield galvanised Town and propelled them to the brink of promotion, following a remarkable 17-game unbeaten run.
But the climax that many sought never came, with misfortune aggravated by the pressure on young shoulders, and shaky performances away from home.
Attfield told The Crow: "We learned a lot from last year, and I think the experience will stand them in good stead.
"Having been in a decent position, it was a disappointing way to end things.
"But if I'm honest, we were just not ready. It was a big ask, and the pressure took its toll.
"Expectancy levels were high and as a result it got to them a little bit."
However, with the former Buntingford Town manager and a number of his first team squad embarking on their first full season with the club, Attfield has set his sights high.
"We can't accept anything less than promotion," he said.
"That's what I want, that's what the players want, and it's what the club wants.
"And I can see no reason why we cannot achieve it, because this is a tremendously talented squad.
"I and the majority of the players came in with 10 games gone, so with a fixture list of 40 in front of us, the responsibility is on our shoulders."
Had the current squad been together from the start, Royston could have been promoted.
However, they eventually finished 10 points behind champions Kentish Town and eight behind runners-up Haringey Borough.
Despite the set back, Attfield has stood by his gifted squad, and like a non-league Arsene Wenger, looks to continue his policy of blooding talented youngsters.
He said: "I didn't feel that we needed to make massive changes. I had looked to bring in a bit more seniority but that has proved hard to find at this level. It's a bit of a gamble but I'm going with youth again.
"I'm confident in their ability, and they have proved that they have the talent needed.
"The young players who came in last season adapted very well, and I believe the likes of Ricky Young, Aaron Welch, and Josh Bronti, will do the same."
Attfield has also promoted Duncan Easley from player-coach to assistant manager.
He said: "I'm delighted to have Duncan as my assistant. He's a former Royston player who has a lot of non -league experience, and the respect of the players. I'm sure that we'll work well together."
Finishing the last campaign as the league's joint highest goal scorers, Royston should again have little trouble in front of goal.
And keeping other teams out should not be a problem, with Attfield lassoing a few new defensive recruits.
He said: "We have a fantastic strike force. And in Craig Hammond, Ryan Lockett, Will Turl, and Mark Wright we have goals in abundance.
"But we're strong all over the park and there is no real weakness.
"A lot of work has taken place off the field, and the signs are there that this club could go all the way to the Ryman League.
"So it's up to me and the players to make sure we emulate that ambition on the pitch - and that starts with promotion.