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It Will Be Nice To Be Underdogs This Season

Posted in Club News on 9th August 2013 by Kentish Football

Ashford United assistant manager John Ovard says there is no pressure on his side in the Southern Counties East Football League this season.

The club spent two seasons in the Kent Invicta League and were promoted after finishing in third-place with 66 points from 30 games, 12 points behind promoted champions Phoenix Sports.

Ashford United kick-off their Southern Counties East Football League campaign with a home game against Sevenoaks Town tomorrow.

The Oaks are under new management with Paul Lansdale and former Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea star Micky Hazard and the club have made off-the-field changes too.

However, Sevenoaks Town, who finished rock-bottom last season, have kept their pre-season campaign under wraps from the public and have not disclosed any details of results or their squad on their website.

Ovard is looking forward to their opening game and said: “We go into the new season excited and ready as we got the players back for pre-season earlier than most others as Gillingham kindly sent a good side down for us to start our season with.

“We followed that up with games against Folkestone Invicta, VCD, Hythe and Ramsgate, so fitness levels are high and we are playing some good football in preparation for the season.”

Ovard says the team will have a good mixture of youth and experience as they go into the new season.

He said: “We have added some new faces to the squad including previous Golden Boot winner Michael Smissen.

“Ian Wallace and Jon Sparks have joined from Deal Town. Jordan Miller, who had a season down at Lydd, but has Kent League experience with Deal Town, has also signed.

We have a good blend of some older lads that have been around the Kent League set-up and some decent young talented lads that have progressed on from last season and we certainly feel happy with what we have.

When asked about the club’s aspirations for the season ahead, Ovard said: “This season we are not under the pressure we were last year as we were the team that everyone wanted to beat because of our set-up.

“This year there are much more experienced sides and teams with bigger budgets in the division than us so it will be nice to be underdogs.

“It’s no secret we have a smaller budget this year, which I think helps as you have lads that are desperate to do well and are all in it together.

“We will certainly be competitive and want to push on and consolidate this season whilst playing football the way it should be played.”

Looking forward to tomorrow’s game, Ovard added: “We’re at home to Sevenoaks and we are lucky that we have a great bunch of supporters that back the lads home and away, which really helps and hopefully we can attract a few more now we are in a bigger league.”