Mildenhall Town should not be scared of Ryman League, says manager Dean Greygoose
- Credit: Archant
Mildenhall Town manager Dean Greygoose believes his team should have nothing to fear in the Ryman League North next season, having been crowned Thurlow Nunn Premier Division champions.
The Recreation Way outfit clinched the title with a 2-0 win at Thetford Town and sit top of the pile, nine points clear of nearest challengers, Felixstowe & Walton United, with just two games left to play this season.
“It (Ryman League) will be slightly different and I don’t think it is quite as physical as it used to be,” said Greygoose, whose side will pit their wits against the likes of Bury Town, relegated AFC Sudbury, Heybridge Swifts and Witham Town next season.
“There will be better players in the league and several teams with bigger squads and better finances, but I don’t think we will struggle, although you never know. The key is to get a good start.
“I am looking forward to the challenge, playing new teams and managers I have not come up against before and there is nothing to be scared of.
“A lot of it comes down to having belief and being positive and not being afraid of teams you come up against.
“We will have to learn quickly and there will be times where we will have to be shrewder in certain situations, but I think we will be fine.
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“I don’t think many teams in recently history, that have come up from the Thurlow Nunn, have gone straight back down, so hopefully that will continue with us.”
Mildenhall cruised to 20 wins from their opening 21 games, having finished last season in a rich vein of form and Greygoose’s target all along was to win the title.
Despite his confidence, the 52-year-old ranks the title win as one of the finest of his football career.
The former goalkeeper, who won promotion from the old Division Four with Crewe Alexandra as a player, explained: “It (winning the Thurlow Nunn title) is up there.
“It’s different being a manager. As a player you tend to be able to control your destiny a bit more, but as a manager there are a lot of different variables to deal with in order to be successful.
“I have taken management seriously ever since I retired and it’s up there with my other achievements, in terms of the overall package and what the team and the club as a whole have achieved. It is a very proud moment.”
Greygoose, whose side will be looking to make a successful defence of the Thurlow Nunn League Cup, when they play Newmarket on May 1, added: “Promotion was the aim from day one.
“We finished last season in promotion form, we won a lot of games in the second half of the season, so it is no fluke that the majority of last season’s squad, with a few additions, have done so well this time round.
“We had quite an easy start as well which allowed us to get some points on the board and build momentum and we have taken it from there.”
Now promotion is sealed, Greygoose can concentrate on the challenges his team will face on the pitch next season, knowing the club is making great strides off it, to comply with Ryman League regulations.
The installation of two turnstiles, external toilets and a new stand – to seat at least 50 spectators – were required, at a cost of around £30,000, and Greygoose says the club’s ambition matches his.
“There’s no way I would stay at a club who didn’t want to get promoted if they won the league,” explained Greygoose, who played locally for Bury Town and AFC Sudbury towards the end of his career.
“I love the Thurlow Nunn League, I have been involved with it for a number of years, but football is about wanting to test yourself at the highest level possible and the fact that the club has spent around £30,000 on the ground shows that they have the same ambition as me.”
Greygoose, whose side travel to Stanway on Saturday, added: “The backing I have received from the club has always been brilliant and just to see the smiles in the faces of the chairman, the committee and the fans when we won promotion was fantastic.
“They have let me manage the team and trusted me and never told me what to do with the players.
“We couldn’t have won promotion without them and I am proud of the hard work that everyone at the club has put in to make it happen.”