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Redhill on the up

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MIKE MAHER says Redhill will no longer be a "sleeping giant" after winning promotion to the Ryman League Division One South.

The Reds sealed their rise from the Sussex County League Division One with a 2-0 win at rivals East Preston on Saturday, with the boss admitting planning has already begun for a challenge at step four next season.

And he says the club is excited about the prospect of local derbies with Merstham, Chipstead and Three Bridges.

He said: "The club has been a sleeping giant really as we are all set up for the Ryman South with great facilities.

"We have regularly got crowds of more than 100 and I understand that recently we did that for three games in a row for the first time in 20 years.

"But now we can look forward to everything going up a level, from the grounds we go to, to the refereeing and the professionalism.

"Plus we have all the local derbies which will be great and we look forward to playing the likes of Merstham, Three Bridges and Carshalton Athletic."

However, Maher says Redhill will not just be going into the league to enjoy the ride, or just make up the numbers.

He said: "I see no reason why next season we can't challenge for the play-offs.

"We don't want to be in a relegation scrap and we want to be competitive, which I am sure we will be. The big thing is momentum and we will have that - we have only lost twice since December 18, which says a lot about how well we have done."

Maher added that while it would be necessary to make a few additions to the squad, he was keen to maintain the good feeling at the club.

"We will look to add four or five players to the squad, but I am not going to go up and make wholesale changes. We have a good squad with players who have experience at a higher level and we have the quality to play there.

"We also have a good bond between the group at the moment and we don't want to lose that, anyone who comes in will have to fit in to that."

Meanwhile, Maher paid tribute to the players, backroom staff and board for "making his job easier" this season.

He said: "I want to thank everyone at the club for helping us get to where we are.

"Everyone from the board and committee to the players and my backroom team have been fantastic in supporting me and it has been a great end to the season for us."


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