SOUTHERN LEAGUE: Bampton backing Marine's title charge
DAVE Bampton believes that Swindon Supermarine can win the league this campaign and avoid the drama of the play-offs.
For the past two years, the Webb’s Wood Stadium side have fallen at the first hurdle in the after season party against Merthyr Town.
But the central defender feels that the squad that manager Dave Webb is assembling for the new season,which kicks off tomorrow at Didcot Town, is more than capable of challenging for honours.
“We were all disappointed that we didn’t put in a performance that we were capable of in the play-offs last year but we have re-grouped,” Bampton said.
“We have brought in a couple of players over the summer and we have to kick on from last year.
“I think we can win the league - we have the squad capable of doing that.”
But last season’s Marine captain know that the loss of strikers Josh Parsons, who has returned to Hungerford Town, and Ashley Edenborough, who has joined league rivals Evesham United, is a blow.
“Losing Josh and Ash was disappointing,” Bampton said. “But we have managed to bring a couple of strikers.
“We have brought in some good players like Ross Adams and he will help shore us up at the back.
“We have got a good nucleus of a squad. We are missing a few pieces, but if we can get that together then I’m sure that we can be competing to win the league.”
One of the key areas that Supermarine will be looking to improve on this term is conceding soft goals, which cost them points last year.
“Webby has got a squad together which is capable of challenging for the play-offs at the very least,” Bampton said.
“The key message this year is to stop conceding silly goals and giving away points to teams that we shouldn’t.
“If we can do that then I think that we can add at least another 10 to 12 points to our total and that might be enough to win the league.
“The play-off games over the last couple of seasons have been the hardest games that you can get, like Merthyr on their pitch on a Tuesday night. It is a route that we want to avoid this year and go up automatically.”