Widdrington: We still have desire for a return to the top tier

Tommy Widdrington
Tommy Widdrington

Tommy Widdrington insists he remains determined to guide Eastbourne Borough back into the top tier of non-league football.

Borough slipped to 14th in the National South league standings and are seven points from the play-offs following last Saturday’s 1-1 draw against a decent Sutton United outfit.

Since dropping back into the South in 2011 following three financially draining seasons in the Premier, Borough have been trapped in midtable stasis. Widdrington was appointed in 2012 and helped a struggling and ageing Borough side avoid a drop into the Ryman League and since then he has overseen a period of consolidation.Rarely have they been threatened by relegation but frustratingly for supporters, they’ve failed to mount a serious and sustained challenge for the top five.

Is there genuine ambition at the club or are Borough content to tread water in the South?

Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s (Saturday) tricky looking away trip to seventh placed Hemel Hempstead, the Borough boss said, “If I didn’t have aspirations to go up then I wouldn’t be the manager here it’s a simple as that.

“In a one-off match I know my side can take on any team in this division. But competing with the top teams each week, with the squads they have, that’s when it becomes difficult. Let’s not forget it’s a very competitive division.

“I know where we are as a club. We are building things up and hopefully our day will come. I looked at the budget sheet for 2011-12 season and we are spending less now than we were then. But that does not mean we can’t challenge because we are a couple of wins away from the play-offs. If we are in a good position around Easter time then we can really push for it.

“I have already had meetings with the committee on next season. There are players I want to keep at the club and maybe one or two to add. I think as a club we have to start preparing for that already.”

Academy graduate Ryan Worrall has signed for Ryman South side Peacehaven on a month long loan while Marvin Hamilton has rejoined Borough. Defender Adam Watts is set to return to action but Hemel Hempstead could be too soon. He will likely feature in Eastbourne Borough’s Senior Cup clash with Worthing United at Priory Lane on Tuesday night.