NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Play-off bid forms part of 2020 vision for St Neots Town chief Matt Clements

St Neots Town boss Matt Clements. Picture: CLAIRE HOWES

St Neots Town boss Matt Clements. Picture: CLAIRE HOWES - Credit: Archant

Manager Matt Clements has revealed a 2020 vision . . . to turn St Neots Town into Southern League Premier Division promotion contenders.

Clements is closing in on the first anniversary of his appointment as Saints chief in the final days of 2016. He successfully steered the club to safety last term and has overseen a promising opening half of this season.

Saints sit ninth in the Premier Division standings after losing just one of their last 10 games. They are firmly on course to achieve their aim of steady progress with the possibility of silverware in the Hunts Senior Cup.

But Clements’ goals extend beyond the current campaign. He believes further development on and off the pitch can lead to a challenge for a play-off spot in years to come.

“It is so far, so good really,” said Clements. “It has been an exciting and fruitful year, and I really enjoy being at this football club.

“Finishing in the top half of the league and winning the county cup would be classed as a fantastic effort this season and we’re in a position to hit those objectives.

“I don’t mind admitting the first month of the season was very poor. I have to hold my hands up as I made some changes which were foolish when I now look back with the benefit of hindsight, but I’m a young manager and I will learn from that.

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“I have a lot of players who are good technically and pose an attacking threat and my aim was always to focus on our own strengths. But when performances and results didn’t materialise immediately, I got worried and started to tinker too soon.

“But things really came together after the FA Cup exit to Cambridge City and we’ve had a couple of terrific months since then. We’re shaping up nicely and we’re showing people what we’re about.

“Myself and my coaching team are ambitious people. We feel St Neots Town has the structure to be successful in the coming years.

“That involves retaining, developing and adding to our current crop of players, while also striving to increase our attendances. The club is working hard on that front.

“The long-term plan has always been to sustain this season, build next season and hopefully be in a position to be play-off contenders in 2019/2020.”

The most immediate mission for Saints is picking up more Premier Division points this Saturday when travelling to Redditch.

Defender Taylor Parr begins a three-match suspension, but winger Scott Sinclair could return after being out for a month a leg problem.