New challenge will lift Lions, says Landesberg


Andy Landesberg insists exciting times lie ahead for London Lions following their decision to return to the Herts Senior County League.

The Lions finished 17th in the Spartan South Midlands League first division, and club chairman Landesberg believes that dropping back down to the HSCL Premier Division will reap benefits in the long-term.

Landesberg said: "As a club we're starting a new cycle. The first team is returning to Rowley Lane after a groundshare at Hemel Hempstead and there’s a tremendous buzz around the place.

“Work on the new 200-seater stand starts next week and we’ll be adding some retractable floodlights on the main pitch. There’ll also be new walkways and some fencing, and we’re having work done on the changing room areas."

The Lions won the HSCL top-flight in season 2008/09 under Tony Gold. They also tasted success in Division One of the SSML three seasons ago, which was followed by relegation after Gold departed.

He returned to the club last summer but cited “poor commitment and availability” for the reasons behind the team’s ongoing struggles.

Landesberg will lead the first team into the new season, assisted by coaches Steve Grenfell and Darren Yarlett, and he says he is “excited” about the challenges that lie ahead.

"It's an unbelievable feeling to be back at Rowley Lane. The ground improvements are scheduled to begin next week and we hope the work will be completed by the third or fourth week of August.

"Pre-season starts on July 7 and I’m delighted we’ll have several decent players returning on a full-time basis.

"With the likes of Guy Morris, David Souter, Andy Glynne, Josh Kennet, Charlie Kasler and Jake Furman involved, we’re looking strong. We’ve got the right ingredients and I think we can really bake the cake.

"It's important we play at the highest level we can as a club, but it’s even more important to have the right resources and facilities in place.

"If we are to return to the South Midlands League one day, then the timing
has to be right for the club."

Gold will now turn his attentions to his role as Head of Coaching and Youth team football. He said: "The club have made the right decision to return to the HSCL. Now we have to get the structure right.

“For me, it’s all about the future and getting the mentality of our younger players right. By 18, they will have a full understanding of what playing at this level is all about."

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