James believes Burnham will be better placed to compete for promotion next season

Burnham boss Ash James is confident the club will be better placed to compete for promotion when the new campaign gets underway in the late summer, early autumn.

It seems more likely than not that this Hellenic Premier Division campaign will be ended early and declared null and void, a decision James would be in favour of.

And, while he can’t be certain which players he’ll hold on to going into next season, he’s hopeful the core of the squad will be at The Gore next year and – with a few months of player management experience now under his belt, he feels he’ll be better equipped to guide the Blues to success.

James was somewhat thrown in at the deep end when Paul Shone stood down as manager in the summer. He had only a few weeks to put his team together for the season and, after struggling in the league in the early weeks of the season – while making good progress in some of the cup competitions – Burnham eventually found their feet to climb the table.

“It’s all a bit unknown at the moment, because we don’t know what our budget’s going to be,” he said. “But I would hope we’re going to be stronger.

“At the start of this season I didn’t have much time to plan. “I expected the job three or four weeks before the season started, and it was all a little bit of a rush to get the team together. I thought we did quite well considering the players we had. But now as a management team we’ll have a bit more time to get things good, and how we want them. I’d like to think that we’d improve, and whatever league we’re in we’ll definitely be looking at getting into the top four.”

He added: “Who knows what’s going to happen next season. Every season there is talk of restructuring and localising the leagues. Who knows if we’ll even be in the Hellenic League. Teams like Ascot, who aren’t that far away from us are in the Combined Counties League. If they’re going to do a shake up this summer, you never know what’s going to happen.

“The club is literally just shut down at the moment. We do have a nursery which is run out of the club and that’s still open, but that’s the only thing.”

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