Mark Corben backed his Fareham Nomads team to make a splash in the National Arena League division two west and insisted: We don’t belong here.
The Nomads, who are bidding to bounce back to division one west at the first time of asking, made an impressive start to life in the second tier with a comprehensive 49-point victory in the opening gala.
And head coach Corben, who joined the Nomads in January from Swim Bournemouth, believes his recently-relegated side have the talent required to make a swift return.
He said: ‘My first thought when I took over the team in January was “why are we in division two?”
‘This is a great club and it is on it’s way back up.
‘We want to make an impact this year and get ourselves back to division one west, where we feel we belong.’
Corben’s reign at the club began well as Fareham dominated their first fixture with 21 wins and 14 seconds in the 50-race gala at Waterlooville.
Nearest rivals on the day were Eastleigh, who finished 49 points behind the Nomads.
But Corben is refusing to take his rivals lightly and has singled out Portsmouth Northsea as the team to beat in the division.
He said: ‘Ourselves and Portsmouth Northsea avoided each other in the opening round draw this season but we both won our galas convincingly.
‘They are a great club and will be very difficult to beat.
‘They are an example of what we at Fareham Nomads aspire to be.’
The Nomads and Northsea have a share of the lead on seven points after the first round of results.
And the table-toppers have again avoided each other in the second-round draw.
With two fixtures to be held in the 13-team league before the six-team final – and more than one promotion place available – both teams could be swimming in a different league next season.
Nomads are in action again in round two on Saturday, November 10 at Basingstoke Aqua.
– JEFF MARSHMAN