FARNHAM TOWN manager Tony Reid has told his promising side: Stick with us – and let’s produce something special together.
Other clubs are starting to take notice of the progress Town have made since the former Westfield manager took the helm at The Memorial Ground.
On Saturday they became only the second side this season to return from Jersey Bulls undefeated after scrapping out a 1-1 draw.
Now Step 4 teams are starting to monitor Reid’s players – and some notices of approach are expected as rival maangers try to lure away Town’s top talent.
Reid admits promises of comparative riches can turn the heads of some of his younger players.
But he says: “Step 4 clubs are calling me to ask if they can speak to some of my players.
“I think they’re better staying here and getting something under their belt – a league medal, trophies – and be part of a culture at Farnham. Stay here and be a hero.
“Here we making a new start, with a new brand of football, and I think it would be foolish for some of the players to go up a step now when we could be doing that ourselves in a year’s time.
“A lot of youngsters these days don’t stay at clubs – I know it’s tempting because of the finances they’re offered, and that’s the name of the game. But it’s my job to keep them here.
“I’d say to them to stay here and make a statement – put on your CV that you’ve won the league. We can win back-to-back promotions if we stick together.
“I want to keep this team together and to be part of something here. I want them to make a statement and put things in their trophy cabinets.
“It will be a telling pre-season – clubs will come in and try to offer the world to individuals. But I want to keep everyone.
“The players I’ve worked with before know what I bring to a team – the atmosphere, the camaraderie, the enjoyment.
“As well as travelling to Jersey for the game, we had a really good bonding session – I sensed they believed this could be the start of something big, which they are relishing.
“ Sometimes it’s better the devil you know than moving on and sitting on a bench somewhere else, even if it’s a step up.
“I’m looking at players now who I want to bring in for next season – I want to be able to focus on the 25 or 26 in the squad and prepare for next season.
“I think maybe it’s a bit too late to challenge at the top of the table this season – had I come in a month sooner, perhaps we’d have been in with a shout.
“It was a good result in Jersey but I was going there for three points – I never go anywhere just for a draw.
“I don’t do research on teams – it’s always been my mantra to just beat the teams in front of me – but I was told afterwards Jersey don’t lose to many teams over there.
“They’ve had their team for quite a while whereas I’ve had mine for three weeks – and that was the difference.
“My players are only 70 per cent fit at the moment, so there is still so much scope for improvement.
“But most teams come back from Jersey with nothing so I can’t grumble.”
Farnham are in league action again tomorrow (Saturday) when they travel to Balham.