Sidmouth Town reapply to Premier League

SIDMOUTH Town have to apply for re-election to the Devon and Exeter Premier League having finished third from bottom - by just one point, writes Lee Glanville.

SIDMOUTH Town have to apply for re-election to the Devon and Exeter Premier League having finished third from bottom - by just one point. But it is not all bad news - they ended the season with some cracking results and drew 3-3 with St Martin's in the final game. All the goals were scored by quality players, David Green, Chris Duchenski and Andy Thompson and Sidmouth went 2-1 and 3-2 ahead. St Martin's leveller was scored when Ben Cole momentarily went off injured, Ashford moved his right back into midfield to cover and St Martin's top striker grabbed the opportunity, It is a disappointing end to the season for manager Paul Ashford who took over the reins when the side were 20 points adrift in the table. "There is no reason why this club shouldn't be up there with the best in the league as they have proved with some great results lately." I feel like I have let the club down as we have to reapply to Premier and my job was to avoid relegation. We were guilty of not getting results where we should have. At one point Hatherleigh were below us in the table and look where they finished (league page 51). "I am trying to get commitment from the players. There is a lot of thinking to do week to week. It is a massive commitment to being manager. It isn't just a case of picking a team on Wednesday and turning up at 2pm on Saturday. I want to instill belief in the team and pick things through to try and get the best out of the players, but I have a family too!" Ashford meets with the football club committee next week. They cannot fail to have been impressed by Ashford's dedication and ambition. He says: "When I was a youngster I was invited to go and train with Tiverton Town. They were a massively successful team at the time and had won loads of trophies. I went pre-season training and they trained so hard. I thought 'why are they working so hard when they have won all those titles?' But, of course, that was why, because they trained so hard pre-season." "I want the players to be able to look back on the season and be proud of what they have achieved. It is a good feeling. "Things have improved at Sidmouth but there are a lot of things I still want to do. I have a choice of players now if someone is unvavailable but I know that the squad needs strengthening. "I want them to have more pride. You wouldn't go out for a meal in scuffy old jeans and I don't see why players should turn up to represent the club looking scruffy either. You need to approach each game as if you could play a higher standard, and looking the part helps. "Don't get me wrong, I am delighted with those players who have shown me commitment. Now I just need to meet the WAGS to persuade them that football IS the most important thing on a Saturday!

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