KICK-OFF: Managing the expectations

This Is Wiltshire: Melksham Town chief Darren Perrin Melksham Town chief Darren Perrin

DARREN Perrin insists that it isn’t kidology when he preaches caution over Melksham Town’s upcoming campaign.

Boss Perrin returned to the Conigre helm little more than a month into last season and took his side all the way from the bottom of the table to a seventh-placed finish in the Toolstation League Premier Division.

Proven Southern League quality has been added to his squad this summer, with former Chippenham Town defender Steve Casey returning to the club from champions Larkhall Athletic alongside midfielder Mike Perrott, who helped Paulton Rovers win promotion last season.

But with work soon beginning on the club’s new stadium at Woolmore Farm, Perrin insists the bar isn’t being set too high.

“I’ve heard people saying that Melksham will be there or thereabouts. Again, I don’t want people to say ‘Perrin’s playing it down’ but I think this season, with what’s going on off the pitch, it’s about a bit of stability for the club this year,” said Perrin.

“With the reserves being promoted into the Wilts Premier, we’ve had two or three unbelievable seasons and everything has been a bit of a whirlwind.

“With the great news we’ve had as a football club with the new ground, it’s been very hectic for all of us. As you can imagine, there’s obviously a big buzz around the club at the moment.

“It’s very important that we’re a little bit guarded and I also do believe that last year, we were a bit of a shock to one of two clubs.

“I think a few sides underestimated us after the start we had and that certainly won’t happen this year.’’

As well as Perrott and Casey, Perrin will also be able to call on the services of England beach football international Jack Morris, from Corsham, but defender Luke Smith could miss the season with long-standing knee problems.

MORE SPORTS NEWS, PICTURES AND REACTION IN THIS THURSDAY’S GAZETTE AND HERALD AND THIS FRIDAY’S WILTSHIRE TIMES. FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @gazsport AND @WTSport

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