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Kingston Men’s Firsts look to bounce back from relegation

By River Reporter Sep 25, 2013

Yaniek Monrose in action last season


Kingston’s first team footballers are confident they can put the disappointment of relegation behind them and make a push to the top of the table this season.

The Cougars lost six of their 10 league games last year and finished fifth, consigning them to relegation to the South Eastern 4C division where the likes of Brunel fourths and Chichester fourths provide the opposition.

New Kingston captain Conor Billington, who takes the armband from Danny Rich, is confident his side can bounce back. “My main hope this season is to win the league,” Billington said. “Seeing as we got relegated last year we should easily do that. It is vital to our chances that we are a team and get to know each other a lot better.”

Push forward

With many of last year’s senior players now departed university, Kingston coach Andy Stanford has placed the onus on this season’s crop of experienced players to push the team forward.

“With big personalities leaving it is time for the older players to step up,” Stanford said. “People like Jordan Gibbens have done fantastic things for the club and I think the likes of Matt Stoten and others will have big shoes to fill but are more than capable of doing so””

Billington is one of those players and he believes he has the attributes required to make a successful captain.

Lead by example

“I enjoy being the loudest on the pitch which helps me get across to my teammates and lead by example,” Billington said. “Playing in central defence for the first time gives me the advantage of seeing the whole pitch and guide my teammates through the 90 minutes.”

It is a view shared by Stanford, who said: “Conor was selected as first team captain as he has good leadership ability and we will be able to build the team around him. He also has a good attitude and is committed to KUFC.”

Kingston kick off the new season with a friendly against local rivals Roehampton Vale on October 9.

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