Gardner: League title is priority for Bethnal Green this season

Greens boss targets silverware for his side

Bethnal Green United boss Justin Gardner has targeted silverware for his side this season as a priority.

Having finished fifth in the Essex Senior League last season, Gardner revealed that he wants to challenge for the title in this year’s campaign.

“We want to compete at the highest level possible and we want to win the league,” he said.

“I am one of these people that see little point in coming second or third, it is all about coming first.

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“But we have to remember that there are sides in the league with a lot more money than what we have.”

Gardner would also like his side to do well in their various cup competitions, but it realistic with how far the Greens can go in certain tournaments, with the club due to host Kentish Town on August 20 in the FA Cup preliminary round.

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“Obviously it is going to be almost impossible for us to win the FA Cup,” he said.

“But we can have a good go and getting through the first two or three rounds and getting some much-needed money pumped into the club.

“I think we have a decent chance of having a good run in the FA Vase, where we could get to play at Wembley.

“However, the league is our priority.”

With his team having been back in pre-season training for two weeks now, Gardner admits that he is pleased with what he has seen so far from his squad.

“The lads are working really hard to dust off the cobwebs and get ready for the season,” he said.

“We have another two weeks until the first game of the season on August 6, but before then we have some good friendlies against Redbridge, Tilbury, Lewisham Borough and Waltham Forest.

“Some of those games give us a chance to test ourselves against sides that are in a higher league than us.”

Gardner was also delighted with keeping the core of his squad from last season together.

“Some of the lads had offers from clubs with money,” he said.

“But we have convinced them to stay here and help us build something special.

“The likes of Nathan Wilson, Danny Saborache and Anton Stevenson are going to have a big influence on the team this year.”

The Greens began their pre-season with a 2-0 defeat against Herne Bay last weekend, but Gardner isn’t too concerned.

“The Herne Bay game was about getting some match fitness,” he said.

“The score was irrelevant and we used 20 players, giving them 45 minutes each.

“Some of the players haven’t quite gelled yet as it was their first game together.

“But we will get that right ready for the start of the season.”

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