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Gillingham boss has high ambitions but will have to wait to progress

By Western Gazette - Sherborne  |  Posted: December 28, 2012

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ADRIAN Foster still harbours ambitions to manage in the Evo Stik Southern League and higher even though Gillingham Town went against his wishes by not applying for promotion.

The Toolstation Western League Premier Division newcomers enter 2013 in touch with the top flight’s leading teams, buoyed by planning permission being granted for a new ground at land close to their current Hardings Lane home.

However, Gill are not amongst the list of clubs applying for election to the Southern League for 2013-14. Foster said the club asked if he believed they should target the next level, agreeing whilst accepting it would involve further investment in their infrastructure.

“I have always wanted to apply for it,” he said. “The committee asked me, I said yes and said we could finish top. I wanted to apply, but if you do you have to make sure everything is in place to meet the regulations and can finish high enough.

“The league wouldn’t be happy if you apply just for the sake of it. Who knows, if we go on a crazy run we could win the league. I would rather be in a position to go up next year and have applied than be in the same position and not have applied.

“I want to manage as high as I can. If I do that with Gillingham that will be a great achievement and I want to give the players the opportunity to play as high as possible.”

Foster, who recently brokered a return for former attacking favourites Alex Rigley and Jamie Jordan, praised his side for adapting to the rigours of the Premier Division but added he was still on the lookout for fresh faces.

“It would be nice if we were top and points clear but I’m happy,” he said. “The lads have been a credit to themselves, they have worked hard.

“The league’s definitely stronger and tougher than Division One so they have had to work a little bit harder but I’m happy.

“We have a couple of games in hand which could take us higher and I am pleased with the way things are going.

“The difference is that the top six or seven sides all have more quality and a bit more physical presence. That is the thing we have come unstuck against.

“The football, we are more than capable of producing. As you progress up the league, the Premier Division teams become stronger, sharper and more clever on the ball. That is the thing we have struggled with and playing against those top sides has often showed they have too much for us.

“I am looking at bringing in a few more players with a physical presence and that is all we need, I think.

“When we work in training we work on keeping the ball in five-a-side games. Then you know you can play football and have good players. I haven’t got to worry about that, all I worry about is are we physical enough?”

Gill enter the New Year without Matt Chant after the forward opted to drop to Magna Dorset Premier League Wincanton Town, much to Foster’s disappointment.

He said: “He is a good lad and should be playing higher.”

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