Sleaford boss Kris Jones in positive frame of mind ahead of pre-season

Originally published in the Sleaford Target June 26th, 2013.

Sleaford Town manager Kris Jones is looking forward to “exciting times” at the club as they prepare for a new season in the United Counties League Premier Division.

Sleaford return to training on Saturday and start their friendly programme against a Grimsby Town XI on July 9.

Sleaford announced two big signings earlier this summer, bringing in former professionals Terry Fleming and Gavin Gordon. Fleming will be the player-anistant manager while Gordon will be a player-coach.

“These are exciting new times for the club and it looks like a bright future in front of us,” said Jones. “We’ve got hefty financial constraints compared to other clubs, but the quality we’ve got coming in for pre-season is impressive.”

Jones said the club was using all the contacts they had – including from Fleming – but they were mainly focusing on “developing from within”.

“We’re looking at eight or nine players of Evo Stik level and we’re optimistic on those signings, but there has been big ambition shown from other clubs elsewhere. We’re relying on favours and contacts
really.

“For 18 to 22 year olds, it’s a big draw to come to a dub with good professional experience, so signing both Terry and Gavin is paying dividends already.

“We’ll have a look at them (trialists) in training and have a chat with them.” Sleaford fine 18th last season, just above the relegation zone, but are looking to improve under Jones.

“The Grimsby game will be the start of a new era at the dub. We’ll be playing a good side so it’ll be a very, very good test for us,” he said.

“It’ll be the first look at the new team. There will probably be three or four lads from last season in there. We’re looking to improve on last season so we’ve got to rebuild.

“We’ve got good footballers coming to Sleaford so it’s a good chance for people to come along.

“People not in the know, not realising what we’re doing, probably think that we’re going to be near the bottom of the league again. But those in the know can see that we’re working hard and looking for a much better season than last season.

“We’ve invested £3,500 to £4,000 on the pitch and that’s looking really good.

“Next season is about consolidating, building a future and making sure that we’re not looking over our shoulder come the end of the season. We-want to make sure we are competitive.

“We’ve also got to rebuild trust with the community and local businesses, to show that we’re a club worth investing in.

“But none of this will happen overnight. It’s a long term plan. These are good, exciting times for the dub on and off the pitch.”

Sleaford Target, p40, June 26 2013
Sleaford Target, p40, June 26 2013
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