Jamie Stevens is delighted to be back with hometown club Holbeach United but is not counting his chickens that he will pick up a third successive UCL winners’ medal.
The 25-year-old skippered Holbeach to the title in 2012-13 and did likewise with Spalding last season but he admits he will be happy with a top five position next season.
He said: “I would love to win the title again but we have to rebuild so it won’t be easy.
“I really enjoyed it at Spalding, and we had a great season, but it wasn’t quite the same feeling as winning the title with your hometown club.
“I think it means more when it’s your local club.
“My dad and uncle both played for the first team at Holbeach and my grandad managed the reserves so the club means a lot to me.
“I used to watch Holbeach when I was younger and supported them when they won the title.
“Dean Elston was one of my favourite players in those days.
“Lads like Johnny Allen, Adam Jackson and me came through the youth team at Holbeach so it was great when we won the title two seasons ago and I would love to do it again.
“Two seasons ago, because Jonny, ‘Jacko’ and me are all local lads, we found that people would stop you in the street and talk about the club.
“We want to get that buzz back again this season.”
Allen and Jackson have also returned to the Tigers as title-winning boss John Chand looks to assemble a squad capable of challenging for honours.
“I’m really looking forward to playing for John again,” added Stevens.
“He is one of the best managers I have played for and he knows how to get the best out of me.
“I had offers from other local clubs, and some from further away, but the opportunity to play again for my hometown club and for John was too good to turn down.
“It’s good that we’ve got a few of the title-winning squad back together.
“Fair play to Glen Maddison, he did a good job last season.
“He was left with just two of the team who had won the title but he turned Holbeach into a tough team to beat.
“We had some tough games against Holbeach at Spalding last season. There are some good players at the club and I hope John gives them a chance to show what they can do this season.”
While many will expect big-spending Holbeach to run away with the title, Stevens is more cautious.
“I’ll be happy to finish in the top five but it would be great if I could win the title for the third time in a row.”