McGrotty: Ascot United FC ready for ‘next step’By Adam Lee
July 26, 2012
Ascot United assistant manager Paul McGrotty insists that the club has had enough time finding their feet in the Hellenic Premier Division, and must now look to make the next step forward.
It is now three years since the Yellamen earned promotion to the Premier Division, in which time they have finished 16th, 12th and then 14th.
The club boasts remarkable facilities, as well as perhaps the best playing surface in the league, while it's junior section is unrivalled by any amateur football club in the country.
And now the infrastructure is in place, McGrotty, who is boss Jeff Lamb's right-hand man, is adamant that the time has come for the club to realise their potential.
And should the club start to really find their feet on the pitch, then the 38-year-old is hoping that more people from Ascot will start supporting their local side.
“Our first two seasons in this league were about consolidation,” he said.
“But when (former manager) Stuart (Scammell) left and Jeff and I took over there was a big turnover of players, so it turned into another year of consolidation.
“This year, though, we are setting our standards higher and we want to get into the top eight of the league and also have a good cup run.
“We saw last year just how important a high-profile FA Cup game can be and it shows just how much the local area needs people willing to come out and support their local clubs.
“We’re blessed with a lot of clubs in this area and although the support is good, it could be better for all the local clubs.
“Ascot need a good cup run to drum up a bit more interest in the club across the local area.
“In the next few years we have got to be looking for promotion to the Southern League first and foremost.
“It’s great that the club has the facilities it does and it is wonderful that they look after so many children's teams, but from our point of view we need ambition to make the next step.
“We have a great relationship with the board and I know they back us completely.
“We will see where we are around Christmas time and take things from there, but otherwise we’re certainly looking at success within the next couple of years.”
Although Lamb and McGrotty have been busy attracting players to the club over the summer, the assistant boss is hoping that a different signing altogether will start to pay dividends. Alysha Clements has assisted the club as a fitness coach during the past two pre-seasons, but now she has been brought on board on a full-time basis.
And that extra input could prove decisive over the course of the season.
For the time being, however, the management team is concentrating on narrowing down a squad of around 40 players into first and reserve teams.
So far this pre-season, the Yellamen have been fielding mixed sides for their friendlies to give reserve and first teamers a look in, and results have been rather erratic.
But they will be fielding stronger sides in the next two friendlies, before their season starts at newly-relegated Marlow on Tuesday, August 7.
They are hoping new signings Sam Waddieh, Dave Hoar, Joe Yeates, Jack Smilie and Adam Kennedy will be making an impact.
And, having lost long-serving captain Tim Standing, centre back Nick Curtis and central midfielder Tim Cousins, Ascot will be deseperate for their new players to slot in quickly.