First Division

Meridian VP Manager looks ahead to an improved Season

Meridian VP Manager Dwinder Tamna reveals the expectations for this season while reflecting back on the disaster of the last one

What are you looking to improve with the squad this season?

Squad improvement includes a togetherness, positivity, energy, enjoyment factor, discipline, ball retention, pace, end product, focus, goals, desire, leaders all over the pitch… a squad that will compete and never give up, running through brick walls for each other!

Tell us about your new management team?

This season sees a new management team in place, a complete revamp and a professional infrastructure.

Dwinder Tamna – Manager
Nick Cella – Assist Mgr
Lewin Craig – 1st Coach, Stephen McRaye – 1st Coach
Dean Cooke – GK Coach, Anthony Ellis – GK Coach
Harrison Barnes – Junior Coach/ Matchday Co-ordinator
Andrew Ibitoye – Head Physio
Tim Moffatt – Club Captain

What is your ambitions for the season?

Mine and clubs ambitions and target this season without doubt is promotion – securing a top 3 position. We are working hard to build a squad and a team to compete and meet those targets.
A good healthy run in the FA Vase and other cups runs would be a nice bonus to which we will push and will also give us opportunity to give plenty of games to our squad… I am also looking forward to our 1st entry into the London Senior Trophy.

The club had a poor season last time out what do you put this down to?

Last season was the worst ever on record, but with that comes a change and silver lining, a mind-set change. Main reasons I see for the demise was the lack of quality, turnover of too many players, management disarray, too many fundamental mistakes which were ever present. This will be corrected without doubt this season. Sometimes you have to get taught a lesson to learn from it and this will definitely be learnt from.

What do you think will be key for a more successful season this season?

The key for success is everyone in the setup of the club pulling in the same direction, on field consistency, direction, desire, end product, no mistake’s, basically everything and anything that will provide a solid platform for all to excel on and from to achieve our goals.

Looking back at last season was you nervous about the club facing relegation?

Last season was a pressured time, but I saw the danger signs way back in October 2018. With hard work going on behind the scenes with the FA and the league it was all in the balance. Let’s say it was an uncomfortable time until I found out we had been reprieved, which was a huge relief.

Are you hoping for a good FA Vase run this season?

The FA Vase is a fantastic competition, this a cup competition which can really raise your profile. I thought what the likes of Cray Valley, Canterbury done this season was fantastic for the SCEFL. Two seasons ago the club made its own history being the only SCEFL club left in the competition and had its best run ever reaching the 2nd round being beaten by Horley Town. With the right mentality, squad and focus individuals and teams can achieve anything and I believe this… just at look at Cray Valley who reached Wembley this season.

With pre-season up next what are your main focuses during this time?

The main focus is to assess the right players. Do they have the commitment needed to play at this level, can we create a good team spirit and environment. The fixtures we have during pre- season will bring some really good challenges so I’m looking forward to that.
Training sessions we will focus on doing the work with the ball, ensuring players are fit and ready for competitive 2019/2020 season.

You’ve got the boys in extra early what’s your thinking behind this?

Pre-season is early, reason being is the club will never go through what we did last season. It will be a total new build of the squad, everyone on a clean slate, with a new build it takes longer, with retained players you know what they can do so you have that advantage.. I want my management to assess everything, discuss ideas, discuss players only then to make sure we have the right balance and mix.

The club has open trials on Wednesday the 5th June what’s the up take been like on this?

With open trials approaching on the 5th June, there has been a decent interest. There are many players from good levels and of good experience willing to show up and make a difference. It is safe to say I and the management are excited and relish the challenge to select the right squad.

For the full interview please visit the Club Website here

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