Ks boss Dowson predicts an improvement in form

Dowse’s Premier promise

Given the nod: Kingstonian striker Wade Small battles with the Chelsea defence in Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Kingsmeadow Deadlinepix SP68701

Ks boss Alan Dowson

First published in Football Streatham Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Sports editor

Kingstonian boss Alan Dowson has  taken one look at his new look squad and has guaranteed it will perform better than last term.

Ks finished 11th last season in a disappointing campaign at Kingsmeadow, with only a run to the London Senior Cup final the only real highlight.

Dowson has confirmed 11 new faces in a 20-man squad that has otherwise been shorn of the services of – among others – leading scorer Bobby Traynor and full back Tom Bird.

“I’ll not be making any stupid predictions or anything like that,” he said ahead of Saturday’s season kick-off at East Thurrock United.

“All I will say is that I think we are stronger in all areas and I will guarantee we will do better than last season.

“People keep asking me if we’ll miss Bobby and Tom, but the fact is we’ll only know that by the end of the season.

“Bobby did score a lot of goals for us, but I can see goals coming from Craig Mullen, Andre McCollin, Dean Lodge, Sam Clayton, Mark Nwokeji, Matt Pattison and Wade Small.

“If we do better then we’ll have not missed anyone.

“We lost 5-2 at home to East Thurrock at the end of last season, so what better benchmark to judge us by this weekend.”

Ks have impressed during the summer with creditable performances against Premier League trio Tottenham Hotspur, Fulham and Chelsea.

And Dowson admitted some players had put the cat among the pigeons in terms of selection for the season opener – tipping Sam Clayton for big things this term.

“The way Sam has played in the friendlies means he is probably the first name on the team sheet,” he added.

“It will be an interesting between him and Lodgey for a starting slot.

“There is competition for places all over the park at the moment and I couldn’t be more pleased with how our pre-season has gone.

“I deliberately waited as long as I could before I got everyone signed up and everyone is flying.

“We have strong midfield but the proof in the pudding will come on Saturday.”

Kingstonian squad: Rob Tolfrey, Gary MacDonald, Tommy Hutchinson, Dominic Sterling, Kieran Murphy, Aaron Goode, Saheed Sankoh, Karl Murray, Dean Lodge, Matt Pattison, Simon Huckle, Sam Clayton, Andre McCollin, Mark Nwokeji, Craig Mullen, Wade Small, Goma Lambu, Louis Bragg, Charles Ofosu-Hene.

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