Reviewing his team’s strong performance against one of the South-Central’s top two, Tony Vance admits that the new division they find themselves in is not of the level of the South-East section.
‘I don’t believe it is [as strong], but it is still early days,’ said the GFC boss yesterday, 48 hours after watching his small and under-strength squad push second-placed Uxbridge hard in London.
‘I’d say from what I have heard there is a lot more money in the other division.’
Vance said that while table-topping Bracknell are ‘a million miles better than us’ and allegedly have a massive budget by Isthmian standards, ‘there was no significant difference between us and Uxbridge’.
And with just six points covering the bottom 10 sides in the 19-team division, Vance believes that outside the top two the rest are fighting for the play-offs and mid-table finishes.
‘In the previous league there were six or seven sides with significant resources,’ said Vance, who can only look on in wonderment as one of the three sides below the Green Lions – Northwood – can make six new signings in a bid to get themselves out of trouble.
The side who lost 2-0 at Footes Lane have captured six new players, including former QPR Academy winger Ryan Young.
The club’s new management team of Ben Bukowski and Steve Ringrose have also signed forward Sidney Ibie following his short spell with Southern League Premier Division South side Beaconsfield Town. The upshot is that ‘new’ Northwood won away at Chipstead who, said the GFC coach, ‘smashed us 3-0’.
‘In this division it is a lot about timing – coming across new managers, new signings, have the side given up? Until such time we are not amateurs in a semi-pro world, we will always have this conundrum to contend with.’
In the meantime the Green Lions will continue to work with meagre resources and, more immediately, prepare to host unbeaten Chertsey Town, the team that ended Jersey Bulls’ FA Cup qualifying run at Springfield.