Stowmarket Town boss Rick Andrews on budgets, respect, season tickets and that favourites tag!
Stowmarket Town boss Rick Andrews is not fazed in the slightest if people want to label his side favourites for title glory this season.
The Old Gold and Blacks enjoyed a hugely successful 2017/18 campaign, netting 103 points in the Thurlow Nunn Premier, but just missing out on promotion to Step 4, with Felixstowe & Walton and Coggeshall getting there ahead of them.
Stow continue to build on what was already a good squad and are being tipped by many for promotion this campaign.
It’s not something Andrews is unduly concerned about.
“If we are favourites with people, that’s fine with me,” he said.
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“We dealt with it last season and we will deal with it again this season. We got 103 points last season which in most years would get you promotion.
“It didn’t, but we go again. Promotion to Step 4 is what we want at this club.”
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Andrews has strengthened his squad with the additions of Tom Matthews (Wroxham), Max Melanson (Thetford Town), Sam Nunn (Needham Market) and Scott Chaplin (Felixstowe & Walton United), while 14 of last season’s playing squad have also committed to the club for the new campaign.
He knows his club have a decent budget to compete at Step 5. But he knows the club is doing much off the pitch to attract players as well.
“I haven’t got a clue what other club’s budgets are, but apparently everyone seems to know ours,” he said.
“I heard comments about our striker Josh Mayhew last season and numbers banded around I simply don’t recognise. But we have bettered our standards off the pitch and that is proving a big pull for players.
“The club is no longer a hard sell. We have good coaches, we are playing Step 5 football, the pitch and facilities are hugely improved. It’s a great place to be.
“We treat our opponents and visitors with respect and we have a lot of friends in the game. That’s what non-league is all about. Sometimes I think people need to tone down some of the rhetoric in the game.
“For me it gets me out of the house. It’s not the be all and end all, although we all like to win of course!”
Stowmarket are hoping to have sold 50 season tickets before the season kicks off, a number any Step 5 club would be very happy to have.