No reason why we can’t go one further this season says St Albans City’s Tom Bender

PUBLISHED: 08:34 10 July 2018 | UPDATED: 08:51 10 July 2018

Northampton Town manager and former St Albans player Dean Austin talks with Manager of St Albans Ian Allinson before the pre-season friendly match between St Albans City and Northampton Town. Picture: DANNY LOO

Northampton Town manager and former St Albans player Dean Austin talks with Manager of St Albans Ian Allinson before the pre-season friendly match between St Albans City and Northampton Town. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2018 Danny Loo Photography - all rights reserved

Tom Bender said it was a no-brainer to re-sign for St Albans City and believes there is no reason why they cannot go one better than last year and make the end-of-season play-offs.

St Albans City's Tom Bender.St Albans City's Tom Bender.

The full-back sat out City’s opening pre-season fixture against Northampton Town with a slight thigh strain.

Khale Da Costa of St Albans holds off a tackle in the pre-season friendly match between St Albans City and Northampton Town. Picture: DANNY LOOKhale Da Costa of St Albans holds off a tackle in the pre-season friendly match between St Albans City and Northampton Town. Picture: DANNY LOO

But he revealed there was no doubt of him returning to the Saints.

Luke Tingey of St Albans in the pre-season friendly match between St Albans City and Northampton Town. Picture: DANNY LOOLuke Tingey of St Albans in the pre-season friendly match between St Albans City and Northampton Town. Picture: DANNY LOO

Speaking to the Herts Ad he said: “I’ve been here nearly three years now and I’ve enjoyed it since I’ve been here and I’ve especially enjoyed it since Ian took over.

Percy Kiangebeni of St Albans plays a long pass in the pre-season friendly match between St Albans City and Northampton Town. Picture: DANNY LOOPercy Kiangebeni of St Albans plays a long pass in the pre-season friendly match between St Albans City and Northampton Town. Picture: DANNY LOO

“We have a good relationship and it was an easy decision to stay on.”

David Noble of St Albans clears the ball in the pre-season friendly match between St Albans City and Northampton Town. Picture: DANNY LOODavid Noble of St Albans clears the ball in the pre-season friendly match between St Albans City and Northampton Town. Picture: DANNY LOO

Being one of the longest-serving members of the squad, Bender has had the ups and downs of a relegation battle as well as last season’s brave but ultimately fruitless chase of a play-off spot.

Zane Banton of St Albans on the ball in the pre-season friendly match between St Albans City and Northampton Town. Picture: DANNY LOOZane Banton of St Albans on the ball in the pre-season friendly match between St Albans City and Northampton Town. Picture: DANNY LOO

And even with the strength of the opposition in the Vanarama National League South this time around, Bender says that disappointment will help spur the team on to do better.

Dean Snedker of St Albans in the pre-season friendly match between St Albans City and Northampton Town. Picture: DANNY LOODean Snedker of St Albans in the pre-season friendly match between St Albans City and Northampton Town. Picture: DANNY LOO

“You think it about I don’t think it affects how we approach this year,” he said.

Assistant manager of St Albans Glen Alzapiedi and Manager of St Albans Ian Allinson on the touchline in the pre-season friendly match between St Albans City and Northampton Town. Picture: DANNY LOOAssistant manager of St Albans Glen Alzapiedi and Manager of St Albans Ian Allinson on the touchline in the pre-season friendly match between St Albans City and Northampton Town. Picture: DANNY LOO

“It is going to be a different team, we haven’t kept everyone from last year, and you look at the teams that are coming into the league and I think you’ll be naive and silly not to think last year was a better chance than this.

Tarik Moore-Azille of St Albans in the pre-season friendly match between St Albans City and Northampton Town. Picture: DANNY LOOTarik Moore-Azille of St Albans in the pre-season friendly match between St Albans City and Northampton Town. Picture: DANNY LOO

“There are some really strong teams coming in and it’s going to be difficult but we’ve kept the core of the squad and we’ve learnt from the last two years, but last year more than anything, and I don’t see any reason why we can’t use that to our advantage and go one further.”

Harold Jospeh of St Albans in the pre-season friendly match between St Albans City and Northampton Town. Picture: DANNY LOOHarold Jospeh of St Albans in the pre-season friendly match between St Albans City and Northampton Town. Picture: DANNY LOO

Manager Ian Allinson has not yet finalised his squad but Bender says even with the large number of trialists currently at Clarence Park, he still feels there is a confidence in the dressing room and the new players, whoever they may be, will only enhance that.

Northampton Town score in the pre-season friendly match between St Albans City and Northampton Town. Picture: DANNY LOONorthampton Town score in the pre-season friendly match between St Albans City and Northampton Town. Picture: DANNY LOO

He said: “The players that are coming in and that Ian is having a look at we kind of know anyway as we’ve played against them.

Assistant manager of St Albans Glen Alzapiedi and Manager of St Albans Ian Allinson on the touchline in the pre-season friendly match between St Albans City and Northampton Town. Picture: DANNY LOOAssistant manager of St Albans Glen Alzapiedi and Manager of St Albans Ian Allinson on the touchline in the pre-season friendly match between St Albans City and Northampton Town. Picture: DANNY LOO

“They are good players who know this league and if we sign them it can only benefit us.”

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