Message from Burgess Hill Town manager Ian Chapman

BHTFC v Northampton. Ian Chapman. Pic Steve Robards, SR1516210 SUS-150713-124111001
BHTFC v Northampton. Ian Chapman. Pic Steve Robards, SR1516210 SUS-150713-124111001

Now that the dust had settled a little after the Hitchin game, just a summary of my 3 and a bit years at Burgess Hill Town FC.

This season has been difficult but we expected that, I’m only really disappointed with the cup matches, but in one off games these things happen, just ask Aldershot or Sutton from last season.

On Saturday I felt 1st half we played excellent and dominated the game, but where last season when we came under pressure we held strong for 10 minutes or so, this season we have struggled to do that, but it is a learning curve for me, Tucky and our players.

When you go through the squad, Josh, Will, Toby, Luc, Chris, Phil, Dan Pearse, Dan Perry, Lee are all in their 1st season at this standard and im sure they will find their feet and be able to handle it consistently wise but they need time.

The remaining members of the squad have played in it before but the majority of them not for a number of years. Also last season budget wise we massively over achieved. Even this season league wise we probably are too.

To put it in context there’s probably at least 5 or 6 sides in the Ryman South now with a bigger budget than ours, so therefore we must produce players from within and in my time as manager we have done that, and after watching our youth team and 21’s a number of times this season I feel this will continue as we have a lot of quality coming through.

It’s the way the chairman wants the club run and the right way unless you get massive financial backing from a sponsor or an individual we must make sure we build our football club the right way, and that is taking small steps.

We have come a long way in a short space of time but we must be patient, the season before I arrived the club finished 23rd in Ryman South and in my first season we just wanted to be competitive and we were.

I now feel we are back to that point again in a new league, and all we want to do is make sure we are a Ryman premier side next season, there’s a long way to go but we have given ourselves a chance.

In the league we have won 2 by more than 1 goal, lost 2 by more than 1 goal, and 11 of the others games have been won or lost by a 1 goal deficit and we have drawn the other 4 so it shows you how tight every game is.

The other 3 clubs promoted with us Merstham, Needham Market and Brentwood are also struggling consistency wise and I think that shows you the gulf between the two leagues.

I have 20 months left on my contract and my first objective is to make Burgess Hill Town an established Ryman Premier side.

We also have now set up a development squad for under 15 and 16’s and we also have other exciting projects regarding the youth in the pipeline.


This Saturday (7th) the Hillians Under 21’s are in action at the Green Elephants Stadium when they host Broadbridge Heath in the Sussex Intermediate Cup, kicking off at 2pm.

Next Tuesday (10th) the Hillians travel to Pagham in the Sussex Senior Cup.

Hillians game on Saturday 14th at home to Enfield has been postponed due to them having a fixture in the FA Trophy. Hillians first team are next home on 21st November versus Billericay.

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