New West Wratting manager Rod Gaffan has set his sights on taking the club further up the Kershaw Premier League table next season.
Gaffan doesn’t officially take up his new role until pre-season starts on June 8, but he has been casting his eye over the team during the league run in, which saw them finish in sixth place.
The 38-year-old former Hundon manager moves to Wratting after nearly two successful years as manager of Haverhill Borough Reserves.
In their first season after being formed, they comfortably won the NMC Division 2A title before going on to further success this season in Division 1A.
Having been approached to see if he would be interested in the Wratting job, Gaffan accepted the challenge of managing at a higher level and left Borough in March.
He left the New Croft outfit sitting second in the league and having seen their run in the Suffolk Senior Reserve Cup ended just two weeks earlier with a semi-final penalty shoot out defeat to Hadleigh United.
The run included a famous 1-0 victory at Lowestoft Town Reserves.
Gaffan is joined at Wratting by assistant player/manager Roger Dourado - a role he also filled at Borough - with Alex Boyce as first team coach.
The new Wratts boss paid tribute to his predecessor Bob Warner, who stepped down from the role following the completion of the league campaign, before going on to outline his hopes for next season.
“I have just followed them around and watched a few games and got to know the lads a bit better, “ said Gaffan.
“They’ve got some key players. It’s going to be nice to work with the likes of Danny Hill and Riki Baker and Jon Welsh etcetera.
“They are probably the sort of players who will be wanted at Thurlow Nunn level. My first job is to keep hold of them and keep the quality of player we have got here,” he said.
Keeping hold of prolific goalscorer Hill is a priority for Gaffan and central to his future hopes for Wratting.
He added: “Danny Hill has told me and Roger 100 per cent that he is staying.
“He wants Wratting to progress and he wants to be a part of it, which is a nice thing to have and its another thing to throw at players, telling them we want you to come and that Danny Hill is staying.
“I’ve been told they are all staying and I’m confident of keeping them. I’m confident that if we can keep them and add three or four more bodies we can finish in the top four next season.”
Looking back at his and Dourado’s time at Borough, Gaffan felt their biggest achievements were bringing Gav Taylor from Thurlow to the first team via the reserves, Martyn Farrant from Clare through to the first team then on to Haverhill Rovers and Josh Martin from Clare to Borough’s first team via the reserves.