Play to our potential and we can be in the mix at the top - Painter

New Broadbridge Heath signing Marlon Maxwell
New Broadbridge Heath signing Marlon Maxwell
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Broadbridge Heath boss Steve Painter believes if his side can play to their full potential this season there is no reason they can’t be in the mix towards the top of the table.

A top-six finish in the Premier Division is the main aim for the Bears as they strive to continue to improve as they have done each season.

They have added new signings Joe Holvey and Marlon Maxwell, along with acquiring the sole services of previously dual-signed Tiago Andrade, Shaun Findley and Mark Bevan, while Ollie Moore has rejoined the club, but faces a spell on the sidelines after a horrific facial injury in pre-season.

Leaving the club is Jake Legrange, who has joined Peacehaven, and captain Andy Waddingham, who is working in Vietnam. Piers McDermott has been promoted to the new club captain in his absence.

Heath kick-off at home to Littlehampton on Saturday and on his aims for the season, Painter said: “People always laugh at me when I say this, but until we have a new ground and our own facility, the aim is always to survive.

“The players we have signed should enhance what we can do. I’d like to think we can finish higher than last year.

“But it is about not taking anything for granted and preparing for every game like when we beat Horsham at home last year.

“If we can get to that level in every game we will do very well. I am not going to say we will win it, but I’d like to think we will be in the shake-up and I am looking at top-six.”

Heath have purposely tested themselves against strong opposition in pre-season losing 3-1 against Ash United and 2-1 to Guildford City in a firey clash.

They have secured victories against Camberley Town and Tonbridge Angles and drew with Walton & Hersham and Chipstead.

The latter came at a cost as Moore suffered a broken cheek bone and jaw as he clashed heads with an opponent. Painter said: “We are in good shape apart from losing Ollie. It’s a major blow, but we do need to kick-on.

“He will play some part in the season and the time frame we are looking at is apparently six to eight weeks, but that seems quick to me.

“It’s a massive, massive blow for the whole club. We have to replace him with someone and how do you do that? He scored 33 goals last year.”

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