Lewes boss Russell: Thirteen clubs could win Isthmian Premier title

Lewes manager Tony Russell is prepared for a titanic tussle for the Isthmian Premier Division crown this season.

Friday, 16th July 2021, 2:45 pm
Lewes manager Tony Russell has said that over half of the teams in the Isthmian Premier Division could stake a claim for the title this season. Picture by Angela Brinkhurst

The Rooks’ boss has predicted that more than half of the teams in the division could stake a claim for the title, and promotion to the National League South, in 2021-22.

Russell was champing at the bit to pit his wits against the great and the good of the Isthmian Premier, and revealed he was delighted to be involved in such a competitive league.

He said: “I’d say, honestly, that there are about 13 clubs that could win it.

“Worthing are outstanding. They’ve got a great manager and they’re a great club.

“Then you look at Hornchurch and what they’ve done. If any manager can talk and brag it’s Stimmo (Mark Stimson). His record is outstanding.

“Carshalton are always good, Horsham have been recruiting well, Bishop’s Stortford have been blowing everyone out the water in terms of the deals they are putting together.

“Hayden (Bird) has recruited really well at Kingstonian, Bognor are a fantastic club, Folkestone Invicta have got big players.

“Enfield will fancy their chances, Margate have signed a centre-half from Billericay and a forward from Maidstone, and we feel that we’ve put together a really good side.

“Straight away I’ve named 11 teams. Pick a winner out of them! It’s such a competitive league full of good managers and really good clubs.

“Everyone seems to have found a few extra quid down the sofa, but I think that’s brilliant. I’m all for it.

“I think step three will be the place to be this year. I think it will be an outstanding league.

“I don’t think there will be a runaway winner. People will be taking points off each other, and it will be a huge battle.”

Meanwhile, the Rooks suffered a 1-0 loss at Tonbridge Angels on Tuesday night in their first pre-season friendly.

Lewes’ first two friendlies, at Fisher and AFC Uckfield Town, were cancelled as a precaution due to two separate positive Covid tests.

The Rooks travel to VCD Athletic tomorrow.