JOHN Chand admits he’s after evolution and not revolution at Holbeach United this summer as he bids to gatecrash the UCL Premier Division’s top eight.
After guiding the Tigers to a respectable 17th place last season – despite relegation looking a real possibility at Christmas – Chand reckons he needs to add “four or five” fresh faces to his ranks this summer to make that happen.
Sleaford Town full-back Lewis Brooks has already verbally agreed a move to Carter’s Park, while Tommy Treacher is expected to make his loan switch from Wisbech Town a permanent one.
Chand also confirmed to the Spalding Guardian that all but one of last season’s squad have indicated a desire to stay, with only the retiring Omar Joof definitely leaving.
But despite internet chatter suggesting Holbeach will spend big next campaign, the Tigers supremo insists his club will be no home for non-league mercenaries.
He said: “We’ve built an excellent foundation for the future of the club and I believe we only need to add to the spine of the team.
“The aim is to break into the top eight next season, then perhaps have a crack at the top three the year after.
“People seem to think we’ve got a shed-load of money to spend. But I want to build a young and hungry side here, it’s not my plan to bring in older players chasing a last pay-day at the end of their career.
“We won’t entertain players training with other teams either. I want players nailed down to us by the end of June so we can have a proper pre-season.”
Chand’s first season at the Holbeach helm was a tale of two halves.
After two trophy-laden seasons with the Magnet Tavern, a relegation battle was an alien concept to a boss dubbed ‘the trophy magnet’.
However, the Tigers recovered from a torrid start to finish with six wins from their final ten games – ending up just one place worse off than the previous campaign.
“It was a baptism of fire,” admitted Chand.
“All in all, if you look at the season we’ve come a long way.
“We didn’t really have a pre-season and there was no consistency in our performances or team selection.
“If I didn’t sign a single new player all summer, I’d still be much happier than I was at the start of last season.”
The smart money is on Chand landing his targets, though.
And with the Tigers ready to renew their rivalry with Spalding United again, next season promises to be an exciting one at Carter’s Park.
• The Tigers’ end of season presentation night is on Saturday, June 4 (7pm) at the Social Club.
After that, Chand and his side begin pre-season training on June 25.
The sessions will be invite only, but anybody interested in joining Holbeach can email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 07733 123936 for more information.