Easington Sports begin a new chapter in their history on Saturday.
For the first time in the club’s 74 year history, Sports will be playing in the top division of the uhlSport Hellenic League. Matt Giles’ side entertain Longlevens at Addison Road before making the long trip to Virginia Water three days later.
It’s taken a long time for the club to get here so if we stay up on the last day of the season we’ll have done our jobSports manager Matt Giles
For Giles, who took over from division one championship winning manager Ben Milner, it’s all about establishing Sports as a premier division club, on and off the field.
Giles is taking a cautious approach and said: “It’s taken a long time for the club to get here so if we stay up on the last day of the season we’ll have done our job.
“We’ve been used to winning games in the last two seasons so we need to try and keep that going but it will also be a case of seeing how the first few weeks go. If we get a run of losses it will be a new test for us to try and change that.
“But if we start well and begin winning games we could go and do really well. I can’t predict where we will finish but the main objective is to stay up.
“We can look at how Brackley Town Saints approached it, they put their trust in the club’s young players and it paid off for them. We’ll be more pragmatic than that though because we’ve already got some experienced players here.
“Those players deserve the opportunity to go and test themselves in this division but the young players we’ve got here have already shown they are good enough to play at this level.
“We’re a good side, we’ve added to it with good energy. We played well against premier division teams in cup competitions last season but that was only every few weeks, it’s different when you have to do it every week.
“Now we’ll be playing premier division teams every week and no doubt we will lose some games so it will be all about how we respond to those defeats. It will be how we react to setbacks so the mental side of it will be very important.”