Poppies can be ‘masters of their own destiny’

Kettering Town joint-manager Thomas Baillie
Kettering Town joint-manager Thomas Baillie

Thomas Baillie believes the Kettering Town squad have the capabilities to be “masters of their own destiny” as the countdown to the new season begins.

The Poppies return for pre-season training tomorrow (Saturday), just 54 days after they suffered play-off heartbreak as Slough Town fought back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 at Latimer Park and earn promotion to the Southern League Premier Division.

Baillie and fellow joint-manager Scott Machin are now set to begin their preparations for another Division One Central campaign after they were handed the reins following previous manager Dean Thomas’ departure due to increased work commitments last month.

The target from those at the top of the club has been made crystal clear with the aim being automatic promotion this time round.

The Poppies threw themselves into the promotion picture during the second half of last season after losing six of their first 10 matches.

And with the vast majority of last season’s squad being retained, along with the arrivals of Brett Solkhon and Andy Hall, Baillie believes the Poppies will be quite capable of meeting the targets that have been laid out before them.

“What’s done is done, we can only go forward from here,” Baillie said.

“What we do know is that the squad has it within their capabilities to be masters of their own destiny.

“There are some very talented players in there and we have added a couple to it as well. They are more than capable of going on and having a good season.

“A lot of the lads have been in touch with me and Scott already so it’s clear they are looking forward to getting back into it.

“They have to put what happened at the end of last season behind them and focus on making a good start to the new campaign.”

Kettering are scheduled to play their first pre-season friendly at ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League Premier Division side Oadby Town on Saturday, July 12.