September 19 2014 Latest news:
By Ben Pearce
Thursday, August 7, 2014
Wingate & Finchley captain Marc Weatherstone is determined to avoid a repeat of last season’s relegation scare as the Blues gear up for the opening day of the season in the Ryman League Premier Division.
W&F finished in the bottom four on the final day of the 2013-14 campaign – despite recording their biggest win of the season with a 5-0 home win over Billericay Town.
There was more drama to follow though, as Worksop Town resigned from the Northern Premier Division and Wingate were reinstated in the Ryman Premier League.
Daniel Nielsen’s side begin their campaign with a home game against Leiston on Saturday (3pm), followed by a trip to Hampton & Richmond on Tuesday evening (7.45pm), and Weatherstone is keen to stay away from the battle for the drop this time.
“The whole team are good enough for this level,” he said. “We were confident of coming straight back up but it was a big relief to stay in the Premier Division, which is where we belong.
“We need to improve our consistency, which is a massive thing in any league. If you look at the teams we beat at the back end of last season, we beat Billericay quite comfortably on the last day and they finished fairly high up [in 10th].
“Our work-rate could have been better as well. It’s something we’ve looked at in pre-season, pressing higher and working higher up the pitch.”
Wingate have strengthened their front line during the summer, signing Thurrock’s top scorer David Knight, Northwood’s Nico Muir and Rob Laney from Hillingdon Borough.
“We didn’t score as many goals as we hoped last season so that was an area we needed to improve,” said Weatherstone. “We’ve got the nucleus of the same team but we’ve added to it with the strikeforce.
“All three of the new forwards have scored in pre-season, and we’ve got Ahmet Rifat coming back into it as well. He’s been on holiday but he’s another striker.
“The target is to beat what we did last season and mid-table should be easily achievable. We’re not quite ready for the play-offs but with the talent we’ve got in our squad we should be finishing in mid-table.”