Rye United manager Scott Price says expectations are lower on the eve of the new football season.
The Quarterboys will kick-off their 2012/13 Sussex County Football League Division One campaign at Shoreham on Saturday having finished third in 2011/12 and second in 2010/11.
Price said: “I don’t think the expectancy is there for us, whereas last year it was. Apart from Andy Atkin, we’ve not really signed any big names and it’s a very youthful looking side this year.
“But they will go out there and play with no fear. I still think we’re probably a stronger side than we were last year mentally. It’s nowhere near as big a squad, but it’s a more balanced squad and a healthier squad.”
It will be a somewhat different looking Rye side this year. Although there will be no Josh Pelling, Phil Rhodes, Jono Richardson, Wes Tate or Liam Upton, the experienced Atkin and several younger players have come in.
“Rhodesy will be a big miss, but we’re still going to be hard to beat,” continued Price. “I can’t try and kid people and say we’re not going to be up there; you’ve just got to look at the forward line we’ve got.”
Rye will have four more league games this season following the expansion of Division One to 22 teams. Three clubs have come up from Division Two, while Three Bridges have been promoted to Ryman Division One South.
“It will definitely be a harder league than it was last year,” added Price, who is about to embark on his fifth season at the helm. “I don’t think anyone’s going to run away with it.”
See tomorrow’s Rye Observer for the full article.