Next Game: Pre-Season Friendly - Melksham Town Away on Saturday 7th July

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Claridge Admits You Have To Keep Changing

Salisbury FC manager Steve Claridge is facing a situation not unlike that seen at Hereford United after the 2003/4 season had ended.

Despite coming second in the Conference, United lost out in the play-offs and Salisbury are currently in a similar position having been favourites to go up to the Southen League Premier Division along with Hereford FC but failing to do so.

Claridge saw the same senario when he was playing at Millwall.

"You have to freshen things up,” Claridge told the Non-League Paper. 

"People have this perception that because we’ve come second to Hereford, we’ll go again. They think ‘Well, they’ve just fallen short so they’ll be good enough to win it next year’.

“But that’s not a given. At Millwall, we kept too many players. We didn’t strengthen. We’d played to our absolute max to reach the play-offs and no team can do that season after season.

“It also meant the disappointment lingered and you had a squad full of faces all scarred by what had happened.

“That’s such a massive thing and through that experience I came to understand the importance of change. That’s what I’ll be focusing on this summer.”

Whilst the budget at Salisbury is comparable with several other clubs, like Hereford, their stadium costs more to run than virtually every other one in the Southern League.

"Are we a bigger club than others at this level? Yes. But we’re not ten times bigger like Hereford were. Gripes

“Hereford could punch their weight. No-one can compare with them at our level and I don’t think this division will ever see a team like that again. They’ll go through the leagues because that’s the size of them. They had four-and-a-half thousand for the last game.

"Our budget is comparable to probably five or six of the other teams. And the big leveller for everyone else is that our ground costs a fortune.

“We might get two or three hundred more than a Taunton or an Evesham but all that extra revenue goes straight back out on running the club.”

Claridge knows Salisbury will be favourites for promotion this coming season. His task to deliver that promotion won't be easy with teams like Taunton and Evesham hot on his tail.