Fifth place was great - but Chi City are aiming higher
Chichester City boss Miles Rutherford wants to mount a top-four premier-division charge next season.
Rutherford, who took over at Oaklands Park in October following the departure of player-manager Daren Pearce, won 21 of his 26 games in charge and guided City to a fifth-placed top-flight finish in the first season of the Southern Combination League.
But the Chi chief isn’t one to rest on his laurels and is hoping to break into the top four next season.
It’s a wish already expressed in the Observer by City chairman Brent Williams.
As well as ending in fifth, their best placing for many years, City reached the Sussex RUR Cup final, losing to Newhaven, and Rutherford wants to banish the memory of that defeat with silverware next year.
He said: “It was quite a good season for us in the end. To finish fifth and get to a cup final was a good achievement.
“But I always want to improve, and looking forward, I want to better that next year. So as a side, we’ll be looking to finish fourth or higher and hopefully add some silverware to that as well.
“We know it’s not going to be easy but as a squad we believe we are capable of doing that.”
Rutherford is hopeful of keeping the vast majority of his squad together and revealed that reports of skipper Ruben French moving on, possibly to Pagham, could be wide of the mark.
The manager added: “I’ve still got to speak to Ruben to see what he wants to do and until I’ve done that we won’t know for sure.
“We did really well last season and I’d like to keep that side together if possible.
“If I could add a few new faces to that as well then I’d think we would have a good chance.”
Teenage talent Jimmy Wild was one of City’s shining lights last season, finishing with 32 league goals over the course of the campaign.
Rutherford sees his hitman improving and feels another season in the premier division will help his development.
He added: “Jimmy is a great talent and one we’d love to keep. I think another season at this standard will serve him well – then he could be ready to step up a couple of divisions.”
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