VIRGINIA Water manager Ceri Jones believes that a mid-table finish would be a terrific achievement in their first-ever season in the Hellenic Premier Division.

The Waters won promotion as champions of Division One East last year and have strengthened their squad for the new challenge with four summer signings.

Harvey Griffiths has re-signed having joined from Bracknell Town at the end of last season, while former Binfield and Flackwell Heath midfield Liam Whyte also joins.

Scott Jackson signed from Cookham Dean and Dom Clarke arrives having spent last season with Woodford Town.

Jones is excited about the new quartet but knows he now faces to keep the whole squad happy.

He told the Observer: “The whole club is looking forward to the challenge because we’ve never played at this level before.

“Make no mistake we’re under no illusions and if we can manage a mid-table finish that would be a terrific achievement because the league is very tough.

“It involves an incredible amount of travelling for us with at least eight 150-mile round trips . That will be all very new to the guys but I’m sure they will rise to the challenge.”

Jones continued: “I’m excited about the new signings and how easily they’ve slotted into the group. I could not be happier with how they’ve adapted to the club.

“We like to keep the ball on the floor and play with pace, so the new signings will help us a lot and give us more options.

“The signings have all naturally adapted and will strengthen the squad in terms of our skills and fitness levels.”

He added: “I’m delighted to confirm that we’ve not lost a player but the challenge is to keep everyone happy. There needs to be a little bit of maturity and understanding from the players.

"No-one has a divine right to play 90 minutes in every game so I'm hoping for some understanding.

"We need a big squad and a number of them will be disappointed at times, but it's about getting equal opportunities.

"It will be very difficult but I would like to think we will give a good account of ourselves, hold our own and be competitive."

The Waters will get their season under way with a trip to Flackwell Heath, fifth last term, on Tuesday, August 7 (7.45pm).

Jones commented: "It's a shame we're not playing on either the first two Saturdays again.

"From my understanding, Flackwell Heath are one of the favourites, so we expect a real challenge and it's a great start to see how the squad goes.

"It is all about the squad and not the team so it's a good first test."

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