Royston Town boss issues rallying cry ahead of new Southern League Division One Central season

Steve Castle

Steve Castle - Credit: Archant

Steve Castle will be hoping Royston Town can make it third time lucky as they prepare to kick-off their 2016/17 Southern League Division One Central campaign at home to new boys Kidlington on Saturday.

The Crows finished runners-up for the second campaign running last season before being unceremoniously dumped out of the playoffs at the semi-final stage again, this time by AFC Rushden and Diamonds.

Understandably the manager weighed up his options in the aftermath of another promotion failure but he’s back and he has an encouraging battle cry for Town fans.

Speaking after Royston’s 3-3 friendly draw with one of his former clubs, League Two’s Leyton Orient, on Friday night, Castle said: “Leaving Royston did cross my mind but at the same time, when you look at it, we’ve ended up second two years running.

“The playoffs are always a bit of a lottery and we knew that but that’s gone now.

“The message I want to give to everybody is that we’re going for it. Forget the playoffs, we want to get up automatically and I’d like to think we can do it at a canter.

“No promises, we have to start right and keep all these lads together but it’s there for us.”

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He added: “I’ve definitely got the same intensity [as in previous years].

“The club is brilliant, I love being around the place. The lads that we’ve brought in have enhanced the squad.

“I’ve got young kids, I’ve got lads with energy, I’ve got good quality and now we’ve got to go and prove it on a weekly basis.”

Some of the hired hands to assist Town’s promotion goal include centre-back Adam Murray, from Southern League Premier side Cambridge City, winger Nathan Frater from SSML Premier Division outfit AFC Dunstable while Kaan Fehmi and Spyros Mentis have both returned to Garden Walk.

Perhaps Castle’s most important business of the summer came via skipper Scott Bridges’ acceptance of a new one-year deal at Royston.

He continued: “Scott and I have got a great relationship considering how far him and Stu [Bridges] travel to play for us.

“It’s amazing that he keeps putting himself through it. His words are he loves the football club though and he’s enjoyed his football here for many years so let’s hope that continues.”