Saltdean aiming to do “far better” this year, says Tigers boss Smith

Football
Football

Saltdean United manager Wayne Smith is looking for a “far better season than last year” as his new look Tigers squad makes another tilt at County League Division 2.

The Hill Park outfit finished rock bottom of the division last season but were informed that they would not be relegated in early July.

Smith led the Tigers to promotion two seasons ago before leaving for family reasons. The team’s form slumped following a mass exodus of players but results improved when Smith took over the reins again at Christmas.

He said: “We rebuilt the whole squad. It’s coming on really well now, we’ve a completely new first team, only one or two are left from the old squad.

“We don’t promise anthing except we’re going to be looking to be looking to be in a far better position than last year. A manager is only as good as the people around him. And we’ve got a lot of good people around us. I’ve got John Kirby and Colin White in my management team and the committee work really hard. And we’re assisted in training sessions by (former Seagulls coach) Darren Teague. We’ve gained some stability and we’ll look to be in a better position than we were last year. We’ve got new sponsors in Austin while Rees Greenacre Skips are still sponsoring reserves and things like the floodlights.

“Player like Danny Davis also do invaluable work around the club and has been very instrumental in getting players in, while (former player) Graham Leach has also been a great help. The club has plans for a ‘Tigers Club’ (an extension to the existing clubhouse that can be used as a games room for children when not being used by fans on match days) and the top pitch has benn split into two nine or seven-a-side pitches.”

Smith revealed his new look squad. They are:

Goalkeeper: Haig Kingston.

Right backs: Paul Fleming, Dane Amiet.

Left backs: Tom Tyler, Eddie Noel. Centre backs: Matt Stephens, Paul O’Donnell, Scott Cameron-Waller, Lee Slade.

Midfielders: James Bentley, Wayne Bashford, Luke Duchossoy, Matt Marshall, John Hart, Tom O’Donnell, Tom Roberts (ex-Arsenal youth), Danny Davis, Michael Page.

Forwards: Ryan Walton, Leighton Freeman.

Smith also singled out 17-year-old Rhys Manville-Dickens as “one for the future” saying, “he’s had one or two run outs for the first team and he’s not been found wanting.”