SIL preview: East Bergholt looking to challenge for trophies again

Long-serving East Bergholt United legend David Goodchild is hopeful that his side can return to ‘the glory days’ in the near future.

Bergholt, the only team to win three consecutive Touchline SIL Senior league titles between 2004 and 2006, stayed up by the skin of their teeth last campaign but look to be showing signs of recovery this season with the team currently loitering in the mid-table positions.

“We hold the distinction of being the only club to win three consecutive titles and we want to be back challenging for trophies,” said Goodchild, who has been at Bergholt in a number of playing and non-playing roles for virtually all of his life.

He continued: “For now however we don’t want another relegation dogfight and want to get beyond the 30-point barrier as soon as possible, we will then see how high we can finish.

“In reality, third is the highest that we could finish and even that’s a bit high.

“A top six finish and a good run in the Bob Coleman Cup would be great this year, before we look to push on next season.”

Since triumphing with a hat-trick of SIL Senior titles many moons ago, Bergholt have consolidated and established themselves in the league in recent seasons with a number of mid-upper table finishes.

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After last season’s narrow escape, in which the team only stayed up due to goal difference, Goodchild decided to take full control of first-team affairs himself before the start of this campaign with a lot of change in personnel on and off-the-field.

“Fitness was an issue last season and I was determined to get that department sorted first off, so I had no hesitation in getting former player and fitness guru Lee Partridge on board to have the boys working hard in pre-season,” said Goodchild.

“Along with that I was delighted to get Paul Skingley back to the club. He has been a godsend and his training methods and sessions plus match day assistance have helped no end.”

After a slow start to the season, Goodchild’s decisions look to have paid off as Bergholt’s fortunes have improved no end of late with the team now within touching distance of the top six.

And Goodchild will be looking for focus from his players as they host Stanton on Saturday, looking to continue their fine form.

He said: “Every team in the SIL can beat each other, it is what makes it an excellent division.

“You can’t take any side lightly - the minute you do, it’s three defeats on the bounce and your ambitions falter.”