“We have set ourselves the objective of winning promotion from Division 6,” states Laslett. “There are some strong teams in this league and it will not be easy, but Mark and I feel that with the quality of players at our disposal we should have a very competitive squad.”
Wilkes added “Having played for Tucks a couple of times last season I didn’t see anything which we should fear and I want silverware!!”
Wilkes and Laslett are embarking on their first full season in football management, having taken over the B Team midway through last season. During the close season the duo successfully applied for the A Team manager’s position and will look to build on the good work started by their predecessor, Craig Tucker, last season. Laslett added, “Mark and I are really pleased that the BSTFC committee backed our application to run the A Team this season. Tucks did a great a job under very difficult circumstances last season and it is therefore vitally important that Mark and I build on the foundations that Tucks has laid and deliver a successful winning team this season.”
One of the first challenges facing the new management team is deciding the makeup of their new squad for the season ahead. Laslett is predicting fierce competition for places. “I know that a number of players that worked with us in the B Team last season have ambitions to progress to the A Team this time around. I know that last season’s A Team players won’t want to give their places up easily, so the competition for places is going to be tough. We also have a number of new players on board who have impressed in training and they will almost certainly come into consideration. It’s going to be tough, but as managers it’s a great position to be in. Both Mark and I have been impressed by the commitment of the players in training so far, and the standard of football has exceeded our expectations at this early stage.”
Wilkes added “We are really excited for this season and seeing what talent has been displayed at pre-season training we should have a really strong squad. Everyone has a clean slate and we are keeping an open mind and giving everyone the same chance. We are going for a much more attack minded formation this season in our promotion bid and I cant wait to knuckle down with the squad and put in a good pre-season.”
The managers are seeking to organise a mixed A and B Team squad game during the next few weeks, which will give all of the players the chance to showcase their abilities in a match situation. The A Team are then expecting to organise two or three pre-season matches during August, building up to the big kick-off on September 1st. Both managers are hopeful it will be a season to remember.