Close season will be no holiday for Borough

Assistant borough manager Mick Catlin Picture: Dave Haines
Assistant borough manager Mick Catlin Picture: Dave Haines
Jason Prior, centre. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

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Assistant-manager Mick Catlin has admitted the management and coaching staff at Gosport Borough won’t get much of a holiday this summer.

After earning promotion to Blue Square Bet South by beating Hemel Hempstead on penalties in the Southern League premier division play-off final, Borough must get ready for their latest climb up the footballing pyramid.

Their promotion represents the club’s second consecutive play-off success.

And Catlin believes further hard work is required over the coming months as Borough prepare for their biggest challenge yet.

‘It has been a roller-coaster of a ride over the last two weeks,’ he said.

‘While everybody else might be setting off for their summer holidays, we are only just getting down to things.

‘Until we knew where we were going to be playing next season, everything was in limbo.

‘Only now are we starting to speak to players in the squad and hope to get that all secured as soon as possible.

‘A number are already contracted to us and we feel we have a good blend of youth and experience.

‘There will also be other players out there wanting to come to us.

‘We don’t envisage making massive changes and intend to be sensible.

‘A lot depends on the budget and we will also be loyal to the players who have got us here where we need to be.’

Catlin acknowledges it is another huge step up for Borough –and events at Ebbsfleet United illustrates what they are up against.

Liam Daish’s side were relegated from the Blue Square Bet Premier and will line up against Borough next season.

However, they are on the verge of being taken over by Kuwaiti buyers who are offering them a £100,000 transfer budget and an £8,000-a-week playing budget.

Those are only figures Borough can only dream of.

‘We are going to be coming up against teams with much bigger budgets and many of them are full-time,’ said Catlin.

‘All our players are part-time but we are not scared of taking these teams on.

‘We will certainly have to up our game, though.

‘It is a great challenge but it is one that we want and believe we are up to.

‘When we came here our target was to make the Conference South in five years and we have done it in four.

‘We showed throughout last season that there is a tremendous fighting spirit in our squad and that will stand us in good stead.’