Bexhill United Football Club could be the dark horses of their division, according to joint manager Ryan Light.
The Pirates will kick-off their 2016/17 Macron Store Southern Combination Football League Division One season tomorrow (Saturday) with a trip to Oakwood.
Light said: “We’ve set the players a target. They’re fully aware of the target and they’re on board with that. We’re not going to make that target public, but with the squad we’ve got, and the potential and talent, we could be the dark horses.”
Although Light didn’t specify where he’d like Bexhill to finish, he is certainly keen to end up a good deal higher than last term’s fourth-from-bottom position before he and fellow joint boss Nigel Kane arrived at the club.
“We’re an ambitious management team and we’re not there to make the numbers up,” Light continued. “We want to improve massively on last year’s performance.”
Bexhill will go into their league campaign buoyed by an encouraging 2-0 win away to Saltdean United in the Peter Bentley Challenge Cup last weekend and Light is full of praise for his young squad.
“At the moment they’re such a great group,” he went on. “They’re like sponges; they just take on board everything we ask them to do.
“But we’re not getting carried away. It’s one game and we’re still very much at the early stages of our development as a group. We’ve got our feet firmly on the ground.”
Light believes Bexhill couldn’t have been given a harder start than an away game against an Oakwood side which finished third last season, but was denied promotion for ground grading reasons.
“It should be the toughest start we could have in this division,” added Light, who is hoping to pick up as many points as possible from all the early season away games and then cash in on the home fixtures which follow. “But we’ve got a young squad which hasn’t got any fear and we can’t wait to get going.”
Kyle Holden is back from holiday and is expected to be part of the squad which faces Oakwood in a repeat of the opening day fixture last season, which Bexhill lost 7-2.
Bexhill will also be in action on Tuesday night away to Ringmer.
Bexhill United’s opening fixtures (league unless stated): tomorrow (Saturday) Oakwood (a), August 16 Ringmer (a), August 20 Saltdean United (a), August 23 Shoreham (a) Peter Bentley Challenge Cup 2nd round, August 27 St Francis Rangers (a), August 29 Langney Wanderers (a), September 3 Selsey (a), September 10 Holmesdale (h) FA Vase 1st round qualifying, September 17 Southwick (h), September 27 Seaford Town (h). Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live. Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on. 1 Make this website your homepage 2 Like our Facebook page at facebook.com/pages/Sport-Sussex 3 Follow us on Twitter @SportSussex 4 Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here. And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!