Berko coach Garratt has sights set on a season to remember

Berkhamsted FC head coach Tommy Garratt
Berkhamsted FC head coach Tommy Garratt

Berkhamsted FC head coach Tommy Garratt believes that things are looking good at the club ahead of the new SSML Premier Division season.

Berkhamsted revised their first team management structure over the close season, with Mick Vipond – who has been first team manager since the formation of the club in 2009 – becoming general manager before officially retiring at the end of the season.

Meanwhile, Garratt will also be joined at the helm by Andy Stratford and Alex Butler, who have been given joint managerial roles.

Despite the new set-up, Garratt is adamant that the club will quickly adapt as they look to uphold their ethos.

“One of the first things Andy Stratford, Alex Butler and I did since taking over the responsibilities of the first team this year was to speak with Mick Vipond and the chairman, Steve Davis, about the ethics of the club.

“The principles of players playing for the club, for each other and for the love of football in an environment – which we believe is the best at its level – is something we are all determined to uphold.

“We sat the players down at the first pre-season session and made it as clear as possible that we trust the group we have to progress this club in the right way.

“Yes we have strengthened with some very good signings but we purposely haven’t held open training sessions and have been very thoughtful when players approached us wanting to join the club.

And Garrett is pleased with what he had seen so far from his players during the pre-season campaign.

“We’ve already got a great bunch of lads and they have been so far superb during pre-season; working hard and getting round each other with support which is always encouraged,” he said.

“Our signings have been calculated and will strengthen those areas we felt were in need of a little tweak from last season.”

Looking at the youth players coming through the ranks, Garrett continued: “We are keen to continue the work and reputation of youth development carried out last year and we have made Alex Foster, Jay Caines, George Carberry, Alfie Osbourne and Pearce Kelly very much part of the first team squad now. Young Tyler Smith, who is a very promising player, has also been added to the club, along with goalkeeper Luke Midwinter.”

Berkhamsted as a club have lofty ambitions – ones which are clearly matched by Garrett. He added: “It’s easy to forget that Berkhamsted has passed the ground grading for not only one but two levels above where we currently sit; therefore playing at that level is ultimately the ambition of everyone at the club.

“There’s no reasons that, with the right dedication and attitude, this group of players can’t achieve great things this season and take that one step closer.”