Clem confident Colney Heath can keep his love affair with the South Mids shield alive
PUBLISHED: 13:39 02 August 2019
Jon Clements is hopeful his love affair with the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division shield continues now he is back in familiar surroundings at Colney Heath.
The hot-shot striker won the crown with London Colney in 2017 and Welwyn Garden City in 2018 and finished as runner-up with Tring Athletic last season.
And that season at Cotlandswick saw him play alongside the likes of Jack Woods, Spencer Clarke-Mardel and Danny Fitzgerald, all now firmly ensconced at the Recreation Ground.
Even the boss, Ryan Thompson, is familiar to him and Clements believes the former Blueboys manager has assembled an impressive group, capable of launching another title bid.
He said: "I've played with a lot of these boys a couple of seasons ago at London Colney and a lot of them are very good mates of mine.
"We had a good team down there and we've got a lot of good young players here so it looks promising for the upcoming season.
"That balance between the experienced lads who have played and won the league before and the young ones who want to play at the highest level and are pushing on is strong.
"The number of young players is incredible. We had seven first-team players out against Hertford in pre-season but you can see the calibre of players who replaced them.
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"They are young lads who want to work hard and are dedicated, which is obviously great.
"It's going to be a tough decision for the manager come the start of the season when he's got to pick his starting 11 but it's a good decision to have.
"I'd like to think we're going to be up there in the mix."
If they are Clements, who finished as the league's top scorer in the London Colney-winning year with 41, will count it as one of his best, such is the perceived strength of the division this time around.
"I think the league is going to be the strongest it's been in the last four or five years," he said.
"You've got the likes of Newport Pagnell Town and Eynesbury Rovers coming in, Potton United are a strong side and Leighton Town, Tring Athletic and Biggleswade United will make it a competitive league.
"But the way we look it is as long as we are in and around them all going into the back end of the season, then it is anybody's game.
"There are two teams potentially going up next year so there's even more competition.
"We will be in for a good chance."