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Wealdstone boss targets more success this season
Wealdstone manager Gordon Bartlett has set his side the target of improving on their achievements from last season.
The Stones enjoyed an exceptional campaign last year as they reached the semi-finals of the FA Trophy, the final of the County Cup and were beaten in the Ryman Premier play-offs.
Confidence is high coming into this season and the manager is optimistic his squad can build on their form and challenge for silverware over the next year.
Bartlett said: “There is a winning mentality around the squad and I just hope that bears fruit. We want to build on last year when we reached the play-offs and did well in the FA Trophy and County Cup. There were good foundations and we want to take it a step further. It is highly unlikely we will have more success in the FA Trophy but we would like to do well in the FA Cup.
“We've added to the squad and the attitude has been superb so I have to go into the season optimistic but also realistic.
“We have no divine right to do well and we will have to work hard to make sure that we're successful.”
The Stones have endured poor starts to the season over the last couple of years and Bartlett has altered certain things in an effort to change their fortunes. The club have minimised their pre-season schedule and have also not brought in trialists this summer unlike in previous years.
Bartlett added: “I think the confidence is there but the last two years we've had disastrous starts. This is why we made changes during our pre-season.
“We have changed a few things this summer and have cut down on the number of friendlies and we haven't taken any trialists in. Last year we spent so much time with trialists and we didn't end up focusing on the main squad.”
The Stones have gone undefeated in pre-season which featured a draw with Watford and a 4-1 win over Hemel Hempstead Town on Saturday. But the team will be missing four key players in this weekend's league opener at home to Met Police with Chris O'Leary, Sean Cronin and new signing Tommy Brewer all suspended while Wes Parker is struggling with a foot injury.
The Wealdstone manager said: “The last seven weeks we've been easing into things and pre-season has been very encouraging. The attitude of the players has been first class.
“I think we are in a better position than this time last year but at the same time having four senior players missing from the first game is not ideal.”
“I don't put any emphasis on results during pre-season but the performances have been very encouraging. Saturday was very positive and I think we've played a better quality of opposition this year and remained unbeaten.”