THE new chairman at Great Wakering Rovers has backed a young squad to keep the team in the Ryman North this year.

Tony Butcher took over the reins at Rovers at the start of July, replacing Roy Kettridge at Burroughs Park, and the 47-year-old has faith that the current crop of Rovers youngsters can fire them to safety and a decent league finish.

Butcher was the vice chairman during Rovers successful campaign last year but he says this year’s main goal is survival.

“We want to stay in the division,” said Butcher. “We have no pressure, no expectations and every club will see us as inferior opponents – and that suits us down to the ground.

“We are not going to make any predictions, but we will just put 100 per cent into each game and see where that takes us.”

Rovers have a sizeable squad of almost 20 players as they approach the big kick-off at Needham Market next Saturday and they approach the new season in a confident mood after a stellar perfomance in the Essex Senior League last year. They racked up an impressive 92 points in the league, and won the League Cup, and Butcher said he believes manager Dan Trenkel is the right man to get the best out of the team again this season.

“Dan has our complete support and so does the team,” said Butcher. “There are a lot of strong young players coming through the reserves and Alliance teams and we are confident they can contribute.

“We understand some clubs will have huge squads this year but we are more than comfortable with the squad we have and will never live outside our means.”

Butcher has previously been the chairman of the Great Wakering Colts and remains their president today, and says more effort than ever is being spent on pushing through the youngsters, to ensure the first team squad remains competitive as it bids to remain in the Ryman North.

“The club is investing more time and support to the Great Wakering Colts and is assisting its managers and coaches with training plans for the forthcoming season. We are also promoting the Alliance set-up, which is entering its fourth season and is showing year-on-year that players are progressing through the Youth and Alliance teams into the first and second teams.”