Coming off the back of one of the most fruitful years in the club’s history, it may be difficult to predict that Chatteris Town will repeat last season’s heroic success. However, success could be achieved in a different form come May 2017, with preparations beginning to take shape ahead of their return to the Cambridgeshire Kershaw Premier Division.
Speaking on his side’s aims for the upcoming year, manager Ashley Taylor feels optimistic about what can be accomplished. “The main target is to ensure we are always improving as a team and to consolidate our status in the Premier Division”, Taylor said. “We are preparing well and making sure things are done in a fun environment whilst also ensuring the commitment and attitude is right. All we can do is try our best in every competition we are in. Everything can be improved and we must always believe this.”
Meanwhile, the Reserves are looking to progress both in the league and cup competitions, after finishing 8th in Cambridgeshire League 1B and eliminated in the semi-final of the North Cambs Junior Cup last season.
Joint-Manager Benji Brittin is not afraid to be ambitious about his squad’s chances this year. “I definitely want to see a top three finish this year. With the squad we’ve got at the moment and how they’re progressing, it’s without a shadow of a doubt achievable. If we can get 13 or 14 regular players week in week out, I think that will make a lot of difference. We need more stability, and with the players we’ve got coming through, we’ve got a lot stronger defence, which is important. The Under 18’s are going to be important this year and I want to bring a few of the youngsters through. I don’t see why we can’t make a (cup) final this year and the lads deserve it, and everybody can’t wait to get started.”
New Under 18’s manager Ben Green is also looking for improvement from his newly-refreshed side after a dismal season where the Young Lilies finished bottom of the Thurlow Nunn Youth League Western Division.
“I thought last year, they weren’t very well-trained. They were separate, so it’s about getting a unit together”, Green said. “I saw parts of games where the tactics were right, but they just didn’t pull off. It was quite defensive when I saw the team, so I think we’ll change that and become more attacking and free-flowing. If not everyone’s training together, they don’t know how each other play. Winning is a habit and we need to get a good habit of it and stay united as a team and work hard as a unit. They’re (the players) all happy; they’re shaking each other’s hands so it’s all welcoming.”
An encouraging start to the season at both senior and youth level could well be in store, with something for those affiliated with Chatteris Town to look forward to in the months to come.