Common keen to be ‘the best we can be’

Little Common forward Lewis Hole is challenged by an Eastbourne United AFC opponent during last weekend's FA Cup tie. Pictures by Simon Newstead
Little Common forward Lewis Hole is challenged by an Eastbourne United AFC opponent during last weekend's FA Cup tie. Pictures by Simon Newstead

Little Common Football Club player-manager Russell Eldridge is aiming to be ‘the best we can be’ during the 2017/18 league campaign.

The Commoners will kick-off their Macron Store Southern Combination Football League Division One season with a trip to Southwick tomorrow (Saturday).

Liam Ward goes in for a tackle against Eastbourne United AFC.

Liam Ward goes in for a tackle against Eastbourne United AFC.

Common finished runners-up last term and scored a century of league goals in the process, but Eldridge isn’t set any positional targets for 2017/18.

He said: “I’m sure there will be lots of people talking about our expectations. We just want to be the best we can be and where that ends up will be. We’re not going to be putting a position on it; we’ll go out to win as many games of football as we can.”

Eldridge expects the division to be keenly contested, with no team running away with it at the top and the sides towards the bottom to be competitive.

“We know it will be difficult,” he continued. “I think it will be quite even, there could be anything from five or six teams kind of thing. Like any season, it takes a good month or 10 games to work out what it’s going to be.

Jared Lusted contests a bouncing ball in the latter stages of Little Common's first ever FA Cup encounter.

Jared Lusted contests a bouncing ball in the latter stages of Little Common's first ever FA Cup encounter.

“There won’t be as many weaker teams and I think the teams that were down towards the bottom last year will be stronger. I think there will be more tough games than at times last year, but we won’t really know until we’ve played the first five or six games.

“I think Steyning will be quite strong and Mile Oak will be strong, as they always are. After that I don’t really know too much about who’s going to be there or thereabouts. We’ll just worry about ourselves and what will be will be.”

Common will open up against a Southwick side which lost 1-0 at home to Bexhill United in the Peter Bentley Challenge Cup last weekend.

“We look to win every game of football,” Eldridge added. “We know that we’ve got the quality in our group to win games of football. It’s about application and making sure we do the simple things well.”

Jerome Smith is away for the next couple of weeks and Jared Lusted will miss tomorrow’s game because of work.

Common’s first home league game of the season, against AFC Varndeanians, has been brought forward a day to Friday August 18, kick-off 7.45pm.

The match was scheduled for the following afternoon, but has been moved to avoid clashing with the Airbourne air show taking place nearby.

Little Common’s early fixtures (league unless stated): August 12 Southwick (a), August 18 AFC Varndeanians (h), August 22 Langney Wanderers (h) Peter Bentley Challenge Cup 2nd round, August 26 Ringmer (a), August 28 Hailsham Town (h), September 2 Midhurst & Easebourne (a), September 5 Seaford Town (h), September 9 Walton & Hersham (a) FA Vase.