Cottle confident promoted Chenecks can hold their own in UCL top flight

ON Chenecks boss Graham Cottle
ON Chenecks boss Graham Cottle

ON Chenecks boss Graham Cottle feels his side are ready to make the step up to the UCL Premier Division.

And he has hailed his players for a superb season that has seen them secure promotion to the top tier.

Chenecks finished second in division one, winning 24 of their 36 league games.

And Cottle and Co can look forward to life at a higher level, with their Billing Road home now meeting step five requirements.

“It’s a fantastic achievement for us,” Cottle said. “We’ve never been in the prem before and it’s testament to all the hard work, especially off the pitch to get the ground ready.

“We were ready for promotion because we’ve got a squad packed with 21 to 25 year olds who can step up.

“I’m really proud because a lot of the lads have only ever played for Chenecks.

“It’s come together and we’ve finally got over the line.”

Chenecks will retain their policy of not paying players next season, but Cottle is keen to add two or three fresh faces to a squad that did not change last season.

“To finish last season with the same squad of players we started with was great,” he said. “We’re keen to add two or three during the summer but we won’t be paying players.

“Paying can spoil it a bit and we’ve seen from Spencer and Rothwell Corinthians that you don’t need to pay players to compete in the prem. They both finished mid-table and we’re looking to follow up what they have done.”

And Cottle can’t wait for the fresh challenges that lie ahead.

He said: “Some people moan about all of the travelling, but we’ll just embrace that. It will be brilliant to go to other grounds and we’ll just manage expectation levels.

“We know we won’t be challenging for the title, but we are definitely capable of competing in mid-table.”

Cottle was sad to hear the news from Spencer this week, with the Kingsthorpe Mill club forced to fold after an 80-year existence.

He said: “We were really looking forward to playing Spencer in the prem next season. I played for them for three seasons and it’s a real shame.

“It’s a wake-up call for other clubs and it has made us question what we do.

“We’re looking into getting new people on the committee because it just shows what happens when that doesn’t happen.”