Lance Key places trust in title-winning Histon squad for Bet Victor Isthmian League campaign
Lance Key is confidently placing his trust in Histon’s promotion-winning squad.
The Stutes won the Thurlow Nunn League, Premier Division by 14 points last season to find themselves in the Bet Victor Isthmian League, North Division.
There has been little word from Bridge Road this summer, apart from the appointment of former Leyton Orient and Cambridge United manager Tommy Taylor as director of football.
The reason for the silence is that there have been hardly any comings and goings, with 15 members of squad that finished last season committed to another campaign at Histon, and the 16th, Salim Relizani, battling a knee injury.
“The squad we felt will be, hopefully, competitive enough to go again this year at Step 4,” said manager Key.
“The league we’ve gone into is a tough league, with a lot of Essex teams and there will be a lot of physical games involved and the standard will be better than it was last year, definitely.
“The summer has been quite quiet for us in a sense because we wanted to give those that got us up the chance this year.
“As a management team we felt that we could do that, and they would be confident enough to do that – whether that’s mid-table or play-offs or bottom six, who knows?
“We go into it with optimism.”
Key has been particularly impressed by the squad sticking together given that their terms have not changed despite promotion.
“We were told that our budget couldn’t be increased for this season despite having won the league and what the players achieved last year,” he said.
“The players have come back on the same money and I think that’s credit to the bunch as well that they’re willing to do that because it’s not all about the money side of things.
“It’s about sometimes having the right group at the right time at the right place. Credit to them as four or five could have gone away and higher, but they realise we’re trying to build something again at the club.
“They’ve honoured what they’ve started and want to stay together.”
There are a few triallists currently with the squad who could be given a run-out in their opening pre-season game at Chatteris tonight (Wednesday).
Also training with the squad have been second-year scholars Ryan McGillvray, Cory Marshall and Alfie Lawrence and keeper Dylan Lawrence.
“They’ve impressed in pre-season with their enthusiasm and the way they’ve gone about it,” said Key.
“If we’re short one or two weeks then hopefully these youngsters can break in. There are three or four youngsters could quite easily be involved, even though we’ve gone a step higher.”