Mildenhall Town manager Ricky Cornish looking to put smiles back on faces with new-look side
After two seasons of struggle, manager Ricky Cornish is keen to put smiles back on faces at Mildenhall Town during 2019/20.
Things appeared to be upwardly mobile at Recreation Way two years ago when the club was promoted to Step 4 for the first time in their history as Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division champions.
Yet Mildenhall never truly established themselves at a higher level and after just 16 league wins across two campaigns, their relegation was confirmed on Easter Monday.
Unsurprisingly for Cornish – who was appointed midway through last term – it has been a busy summer of recruitment with a number of the demoted squad moving on.
A total of nine signings – including the trio of Ollie Canfer, Phill Weavers and Scott Chaplin from Stowmarket Town – have been made. And ahead of Saturday’s opener at Brantham Athletic (3pm) and Tuesday’s short trip to Ely City (7.45pm), the boss has seen enough from his new-look side to suggest a brighter season is ahead.
“It has been a very positive summer and it is a very different place to be,” said Cornish.
“All of the lads are mixing together well. There are no cliques and everyone is getting on.
“Already in pre-season you can see that it is a group of players that are going to give everything for each other.
“Putting smiles back on faces is what it is all about because it has been tough recently.
“These boys work long hours and I do not want them coming to play for us and not enjoying their football.
“Inevitably if you are enjoying your football you play better and the results follow – that is what everyone at the club needs.”
Recent history would suggest that securing an immediate return to the Isthmian League set-up will be a tough challenge for Cornish’s team.
Norwich United, Wroxham and Histon have all been relegated back down to Step 5 within the last couple of years and none bounced back at the first time of asking, although the latter did go up as champions at the second attempt in 2018/19.
Asked if his men can buck the trend, Cornish replied: “We want to be competing with the top teams in the division.
“You never know how a season is going to go but we have got together a group of players that want to play for Mildenhall and that gives us a solid base to work from.
“It could take a season or two to get back to where we want to be, but we have a squad of 17 or 18 lads that are focussed on the job in hand.”
* Read more: Jack Brame aiming to continue clinical form