YATE Town’s Nigel Hawkins has insisted the club will not divert away from their ethos of development as the players get back to training at Lodge Road this evening.

The Bluebells had to re-build the squad 12 months ago, with a number of players going in and out of the stadium before manager Paul Britton settled on a group that went through some troubled times during the winter but finished with a bit of a sprint at the end.

So, just a week and a bit before Yate play the first of their pre-season friendlies, when League One outfit Bristol Rovers arrive in town, new first team coach Hawkins said they must stick to the three-year plan they have outlined.

Hawkins said: “We will still have to look at development this season. This is part of the progression we want.

“It does not happen overnight and it’s always a longer process than you imagine.

“Last year was a different mentality as we were getting players in to see if they were good enough. Now we have the nucleus of a squad.”

Yate will be facing more tough opposition next season when relegated Southern League Premier Division teams Cirencester Town and Cinderford Town join Yate in the Division One South and West league.

Yate are looking more for realistic progress and giving clubs around them a good game rather than aiming for the top and promotion to the higher level.

And the first team coach thinks the fans will stick by the club if they see they are developing talent even if they are unlikely to be challenging for promotion.

Hawkins said: “There are only two places for teams to go up (automatically) and, for us, that is not in the real world. You need to be realistic. The club has changed philosophy to development rather than throwing money at it.

“If the fans see us progressing, they will stick with us and be happy. There is no point in going up and down and up and down in the leagues. Also we cannot just say we will finish in the bottom three every season because that is not acceptable.
“We need to show improvement but we are going to stick to our plan and we will review it every few months as we have done already.

“But we still want to finish as high as possible in the league.”

After playing Bristol Rovers, Yate have six other friendlies including games against neighbours Thornbury Town and Chipping Sodbury Town plus a home friendly on July 29 with Bath City.