Longlevens manager James French is hoping to end his decade long tenure with a win against Ardley United tomorrow.
Taking over the Levens with the club in the Gloucestershire Northern Senior League, French takes pride in the progress the club has made under his leadership.
“I’ve had a fantastic tenure – not only 10 years as manager but four or five seasons before that as a player as well,” said French.”It’s been a great club and it’s a great place to get involved with your football. I’ve made a lot of great friends there and the team have gone from strength to strength.
There’s been a lot of backing off the pitch which has helped my cause on it. Going from whenever I took over from ninth place in the Gloucestershire North Senior League, to an established Hellenic League club now with FA Cup and FA Vase as well under our belt this season, it’s been fantastic.”
Longlevens sit 12th in the league, and French believes the season as a whole has been a successful one, but minor changes will need to be made if they want to challenge at the top next season. “It’s been a great season in terms of being our first one in the FA Cup,” added French.
“We’ve had a few injury and availability issues which we are looking to make better next season if we want to push towards the top of the league. We are under no illusions that we are punching well above our weight at the minute as a club. We are playing against some big teams with big budgets and we will just keep trying to do the best we can.”
Ardley sit fifth in the table, and had gone five unbeaten in all competitions before a 2-0 defeat to Lydney Town in the Blufin Sport Floodlit Cup semi-final on Tuesday evening. French is aware that Ardley will want to finish their season on a high.
“They’ve been in great form from the start of the year. I think if you took it from January, they are in the top two or three teams in the league.” he said. “They’ve been on a terrific run and beat Bracknell fairly recently, and they are obviously top of the league. They’ve got into a cup semi-final, but they had a disappointing night at Lydney on Tuesday, so they’ll be trying to finish the league in style, and we know it’ll be a tough game.”