Holbeach boss John Chand admits he has been surprised by players’ demands as he tries to assemble a side good enough to regain the UCL title.
Having guided the Tigers to the title in 2012/13, Chand took a year off due to having a young family and in those 12 short months he has seen players’ expectations rise spectacularly.
Holbeach certainly have a reputation for paying decent money but Chand has been taken aback by some of the demands he has faced on his return to management.
He said: “There are plenty of players who are interested in joining us and if I had an open chequebook I could sign a team capable of winning the UCL today, but the demands of players seems to have gone up so much in the year I was away from the game.”
Chand, who returned to the club following the resignation of Glen Maddison, is keen to challenge for honours again and has the likes of ex-Tigers Jamie Stevens and Andy Toyne on his wishlist.
Stevens has skippered sides to the UCL title for the last two years, leading hometown club Holbeach to glory before doing likewise with Spalding.
Having turned down the chance to stay with the Tulips last week due to the extra travelling involved in the Evo-Stik South, Stevens is being tipped to return to Carter’s Park and Chand admits he would love to re-sign him.
He said: “I’ve spoken to Jamie and it would be nice to have him back.
“He’s from Holbeach and I want to get the buzz going at the club again so it would be great to have a few local lads in the team.
“Jamie is a very good player so I hope we get him back.
“Andy Toyne is an excellent player and would be a vital cog in the team if we could sign him.”
Johnny Allan, Adam Jackson and Tom Roberts have all joined from champions Spalding while Gary King, who netted twice on his debut for Deeping Rangers in the UCL Knockout Cup final, has also linked up with Chand.
It’s not all about signings, though, as Chand would love skipper Matty Warfield to stay at the club.
One addition Chand would like to make in the next week is someone to take the pressure off him on the managerial side.
Chand returned to the club as joint-manager with Steve Appleby but the latter, who won the UCL in his only season as a player at the club, quit a week later after deciding he could not longer devote himself to management.
Chand added: “I can’t take this club to where we want it to be on my own.
“Bringing a top-notch person to come in as a joint-manager or as my assistant is my main priority at the moment.
“It’s really important that we get someone with real drive and a winning attitude.
“I don’t want someone who takes the warm-up but brings nothing else to the table, I want the best guy for the job.”