Lichfield City boss Jay Hawkins says he is targeting a top 3 finish in 2019/20 ahead of his side’s opening league fixture this weekend.

The young manager led his side to a fourth placed finish in Midland League Division One in 2018/19 and has his sights firmly set on an improved return this time out.

Hawkins said: “I am somebody who always strives to improve and do better and that is exactly the attitude I want the side to take this season.

“You could argue that we overachieved in finishing fourth last season but you have to aim high and we always want to test and push ourselves.”

Hawkins has retained the bulk of the squad from last season and brought in some new faces but said that all players must fight for their place.

He said: “It doesn’t matter if a player scored dozens of goals last year or performed brilliantly at the back or in midfield, they still have to prove to me that they are worthy of the shirt and worthy of their place.

“I don’t owe anybody a game and if someone misses out then it is up to them to show they want to fight for their place and get back in the side.”

The future make-up of the Midland League after this season is uncertain with the Football Association considering a possible shake-up at Steps 5 and 6 on the horizon but Hawkins said his focus is on the pitch.

He said: “All we can do is focus on the games, focus on our performances and try to finish as high in the league as possible – the league situation will resolve itself.”

Lichfield City open the season with a home fixture against Coventry-based GNP Sports on Saturday 3 August and Hawkins is expecting a tough game against the newly-promoted side.

He said: “They will be coming into the new season on a high after winning a lot of games and scoring a lot of goals so we will have to be at our best.

“I am pleased to be up against a strong side first up as we played some of our best football against the top teams last season.

“We scored a lot of goals last year but we also conceded too many and that is something I am keen to work on – a few 1-0 wins never go amiss!”

Kick-off against GNP Sports is at 3pm with entry to the fixture £5 for adults and £3 for concessions. Lichfield City juniors get free entry when attending with an adult, who will pay just half-price at £2.50.

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July 30, 2019

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