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The Curtain Raiser

Hayden Bird

Hayden Bird and his squad are raring to go for the start of this new season.

On the eve of the season which represents the dawn of a new era, Hayden Bird looked forward to his first competitive fixture as the Kingstonian manager.

"We are excited and want to get started," enthused the Boss. "The players have worked really hard during pre-season. We are ready."

"Cray Wanderers will be good opponents. I expect them to challenge this year. They have good players and have added quality to their squad in the summer. We will have to focus and be switched on."

Although Hayden would not be drawn on Saturday's team selection, he stressed the importance of every player in the squad.

"Saturday's selection will be based on our tactical approach, rather than form or the application of the players. Everyone has done well and every player will be important to Kingstonian. I anticipate that we will play between fifty and sixty games this season, so everyone has a big role to play."

In speaking to Hayden, it's clear that he believes in continuity and is determined to improve his players. He works with a competitive, driven squad who are as motivated as the manager himself. The atmosphere on the training ground is relaxed but professional, high spirited but focused.

In earlier conversations he stressed that he wanted to create a pathway for Stephen Drewett's young players and, noticeably, four of the Under 18s trained with the First Team this week.

"Stephen and his coaches are doing a great job with the kids," impressed the new Boss. "They will feature this season. First and foremost, they've got to be good enough. However, Stephen has a group of untapped potential, so I'm pleased to be able to integrate them into our group."

So what are the Gaffer's expectations for the new campaign? "I've always stressed the first season will consist of building the foundations that we need to be successful," insisted Hayden, "that requires patience and that requires time. That said, we are Kingstonian and we are here to win!"

What changes can the supporters expect? "I didn't see enough Kingstonian games last season, so that's a difficult question to answer. What I can tell you is my demands on our players. They all know that I want to play attractive football and the players know that we have to give everything for this club."

"I want the supporters to come on the journey with us. Bring in new fans and entice the supporters back who have drifted away. In coming on the journey with us, I've already said we have to produce a team that fans enjoy watching and can relate to. It's our job to entertain and put a smile back on people's faces. In addition to playing good football, that means fighting for the club on the pitch and representing the club positively on a match day."

"Like every club I have managed, myself and the players want to get to know the fans and socialise with them after the game. They are part of us."

"From Saturday, myself, the staff and the players will all be in the Clubhouse until 6pm after every game. It's important that the players interact with the supporters. We are united as one club with the same objectives."

"Kingstonian have entered a new era and need everyone pulling together. If we can achieve that, we are going to be strong, which will help us succeed."

Finally, does the Manager have a message for the fans?

"Yes! Absolutely! The supporters are essential to our success. Help the boys by turning the place into a fortress!"

"Bring your family, bring your friends and tell the fans who have drifted away to come back! This club should be averaging 400 as a minimum and if we are successful, a lot more than that!"

"In the good moments be vocal and cheer the team on to victory! In the difficult moments, in the games when we are below par, inspire the players to fight to improve."

"It's about time Kingstonian Football Club are successful again, competing for trophies and winning silverware. Whilst I have great respect for our history, we want to make our own history. Let's fight together, to achieve that together!"

It all starts tomorrow!

Saturday 10th August 2019
Kingstonian vs. Cray Wanderers
Kick-off: 3.00pm

Admission Prices:
Adults £10
Concessions £6
Students £4
Under 18s FREE

Published Friday 9th August 2019