Hailsham Town fans can look forward to a fresh and exciting brand of football in the coming season, according to new boss Andy Goodchild.
The Stringers parted company with long-standing manager Kenny McCreadie in the summer following nine years under his leadership, and while the new man at the helm acknowledged the job his predeccesor had done, he believes the time is right for a change of philosophy at the Beaconsfield.
“The previous manager amassed a pretty strong side and did well with the players he had. However, it’s not the way I like to play football,” he said.
“They went back to front very quickly and I don’t think the people of Hailsham were that impressed with the style of football, hence why they parted company. My philosophy is to get the ball on the ground and play possession football.”
A mass turnover of players during the summer means the squad is almost unrecognisable from last year and while Goodchild would like to add more players, he is pleased with those at his disposal.
He admits, however, that he was disappointed not to keep last season’s top-scorer Danny Leach, who followed McCreadie to Bexhill United.
“I was disappointed to lose Danny, he is a superb player but he obviously has an allegiance to Kenny, he said. “I’m happy with the way the rate at which squad is developing but if you asked every manager in the county they’ll tell you they would like two or three more players, but I’m sure we’ve got enough to compete.”
Goodchild is keen to play down the expectations for the coming season and understands how difficult football can be at this level, especially when you play the type of football he is trying to impose on the club. They are going to come up against teams that will look to undermine their style of play but the he’s adamant that they must stick to their principles and would not trade them in for cheap wins.
“This is a season of consolidation and a season of change, it would be unlikely for us to get promotion. What I’m looking to do is to build a strong, technical squad with players that want to enjoy the game as opposed to playing for money. It’s a season of rebuilding and if we finish in the top half then it would be a good season. It would be naive of me to suggest we will finish in the top five but if it happened it would be a wonderful surprise. If I wanted to I could go and sign a few big lumps and we could go and win games,which is what some teams do. But I want to stick to my footballing philosophy.”