21st Aug, 2017

Singh: Barnt Green Spartak targeting promotion

Craig Gibbons 10th Aug, 2017 Updated: 10th Aug, 2017

BARNT Green Spartak boss GJ Singh says he is not going to hide behind the fact he will be gunning for promotion from Midland League Division Two this season.

After almost folding the club earlier in the summer but deciding against it, Singh has been busy rebuilding a squad which he feels is more than competitive enough to fight for the two available promotion spots.

But the Lions boss believes there are a number of clubs who are ‘better equipped’ to be challenging at the higher echelons of the table.

However, Singh told the Standard that will not be preventing him from mounting a challenge himself as the club bids to make a return to Step Six and the FA Cup.

“Of course I will be going for promotion,” he said.

“I am not one of those managers who says it would be nice to finish in the top six.

“When you are in a league, you want to be in top two and that’s exactly what our target is.

“Whether we do that is a different question altogether as there are a lot of strong sides in the division who are better equipped than us.

“Smithswood [Firs] allegedly have financial backing, the new boys NKF Burbage and Montpellier will be strong, Knowle have recruited well with some signings from Racing Club Warwick, Fairfield [Villa] and Feckenham are stronger and then there is Droitwich Spa who will be fancying their chances too.

“A lot of people had wrote us off but I think our pre-season results have shocked a few people and hopefully we can continue to do that in the league.”

Spartak have enjoyed a fruitful pre-season with good results against sides from higher up the non-League pyramid.

The Lions beat their landlords Highgate United, of the Midland League Premier, 4-1, secured a 3-1 victory over last season’s Division Two champions Paget Rangers as well as coming from 2-0 down to beat West Midlands Premier Division side Cradley Town 3-2.

Spartak recently enjoyed a 5-1 victory over Bolehall Swifts Reserves at the weekend and Singh is hoping the positive summer results can guide them to victory in their league opener at Knowle on Saturday.

“This time of year is always hard as lads are away on holiday but we will be making sure we can string some wins together so we are off to a good start,” he said.

“Knowle have got players who have had experience of a higher level but we have recruited well ourselves.

“Pre-season has been fantastic so we will go out there to do our best and come away with a positive result.”

James Karanicolas and Ryan Moulton are the only absentees for the clash at Knowle.

Spartak then entertain Earlswood Town at The Coppice Ground, home of Highgate, on Wednesday night.

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