Leiston’s football ethos, not budget, attracts players to club, says manager Glenn Driver

Dominic Docherty (centre) and Chris Henderson (left) were brought in by Leiston in the summer.

Dominic Docherty (centre) and Chris Henderson (left) were brought in by Leiston in the summer. - Credit: Archant

Leiston manager Glenn Driver says the Blues’ footballing philosophy is the big draw for players that join the Bostik Premier Division club.

The Blues are considered to have one of the more competitive budgets in non-league circles, and made a big statement of intent in the summer – handing star striker Matt Blake a new contract.

Leiston have started the season with two successive wins, ahead of Saturday’s trip to Margate, but Driver believes it takes more than money to be successful.

“Look at Billericay, they have the biggest budget in non-league football and they lost their first league game at home,” said Driver, of the Blues’ league rivals.

“Other managers keep talking about budgets, but it’s more about managing your football club and getting off your backside and enticing players to the club.

“For us to be kept getting dug out is disrespectful to (chairman) Andy Crisp for sure.

“Players come to our football club because they have seen the way we play and our budget is no bigger than last season’s. The players we bring in fit within it.”

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Leiston started last season with six straight league wins, scoring 25 goals and conceding six.

After two wins this time round, the Blues have netted just twice, both goals coming from full-back Kyle Hammond.

“We have a bit of a different look about us,” Driver explained.

“We wanted to make sure the players we brought in during the summer could do the “ugly” side of the game.

“I wanted them to work hard when they did not have the ball and I did that by getting in Chris Henderson, Rob Eagle, Dominic Docherty and Byron Lawrence – they are prepared to do that sort of thing.”

On the 1-0 wins against newly-promoted Dorking and Brightlinsgea Regent, Driver conceded: “We should have been out-of-sight at half-time and it’s only a matter of time before we hit the target more regularly.

“Matt Blake has had chances but he is snatching at things at the moment but, along with Christy Finch, he will come good.”

Elsewhere tomorrow in the Bostik Premier, Lowestoft Town host Worthing.

Bostik North team AFC Sudbury, meanwhile, are in FA Cup Preliminary Round action, against Aveley.

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