Prestwich Heys Assistant Manager Ryan Hutchinson believes that the promising start the team has made proves that they are well equipped to mount another promotion campaign in Division One.
Ryan joined Heys in the summer from Irlam FC, having led their Under 21’s side to a Cheshire FA Under 21’s League treble of Premier Division title, League Cup and Premier Division Cup, to team up with Manager Jon Lyons and fellow Assistant Manager Ian Hutchinson in the coaching set up.
Last season, Ryan watched on as Heys fell just short of the top six in their first season in the Hallmark Security League Division One, but says after just a couple of months at Adie Moran Park that he feels the signs are good for the coming season.
“It was a good first season for the club, but me personally looking in from outside, I think we under achieved last year”, said Ryan.
“I think we should have got promoted with the players we have got, and if we said we are not looking for promotion this season, we’d be lying”.
With the management team placing their faith in the existing squad again this season, Ryan says that any changes from last season will not be major ones.
“When I came in and had my first chat with Jon, in terms of changing things I felt there wasn’t a lot to change”, he said.
“We did want to freshen the squad up a bit and get some younger lads in with some more energy, and give us more pace on the flanks.
“Last year we played a bit narrow and didn’t have out and out wingers, and this year we have tried to change that a bit and go with a more traditional 4-4-2, to try and create more chances.
“We are always looking to improve the squad but we are more than happy with the players we have got.
“There were probably two or three lads who felt they should have been in the first team in Saturday, but they weren’t and were with the reserves. That’s the attitude the boys have got to have, they have got to be willing to wait for their chance”.
Looking ahead to the rest of the season, Ryan says the management is clear about their objectives.
“First and foremost, we have to improve on last year. We finished eighth, so if we finish above eighth then we have improved.
“The target is always promotion, whether that is automatically or through the play offs. We have to get out of this division with the players we have got, and if we don’t do that we are doing something wrong.
“We are happy with the start we have made, two wins and a defeat (away to Stockport Town), and I don’t think many teams will go to Stockport away and get much out of that game. But we have to keep going, just take a game at a time and look at three points each time.
“We have scored eight goals in three games so you can’t argue with that, but we’ve also conceded at the other end, and right through pre-season it was the same.
“We have had a chat about it and it is something we have to work on, defending set pieces, free kicks and corners. And if we do improve on that, I really do think we will be a force”.