Hungerford Town manager Bobby Wilkinson takes pre-season training
SIMPLY surviving in the Vanarama National League South will not be enough for Hungerford Town manager Bobby Wilkinson.
The Crusaders boss will lead his side into national league football for the first time in their history in August.
And while he knows that Town will face a big step up in standard, he is confident that he has the quality in the squad to not only survive, but make a real impact next season.
Wilkinson said: “I don’t want to just survive in the league – I want us all to strive to take us up to the next level.
“Do not be surprised if we do well. I am a realist and I know what will be regarded as a good season, but you have got to dream.”
Hungerford have launched a business plan to attract new sponsors to the club.
They are looking for a new shirt sponsor, plus businesses or individuals to sponsor boards around the ground, players and flloodlights.
And the extra cash could prove vital as, at the moment, Hungerford are the poor relations of the division.
Wilkinson said: “The whole budget for Hungerford last season – on and off the pitch – was around £250,000.
“In contrast, Margate, who finished fourth from bottom in National League South last season, had a wages budget alone of £1.4m.
“And Hemel Hempstead have just signed a player for £10,000.”
Wilkinson is delighted to have kept the bulk of last season’s squad and added the likes of former Reading striker Nicholas Bignall.
And there’s no way that Crusaders will be found wanting in the fitness stakes, with former Reading star Mikele Leigertwood taking training.
Wilkinson said: “My teams have always been the fittest in the league and that won’t change, but we will be up against some full-time teams and some big teams. We have a great team spirit and we will work for each other.”
n For more details on Hungerford’s business plan and pictures from pre-season training, turn to page 71.