Comrades boss Vipond on the hunt for a leader as thoughts turn to next season

Berkhamsted manager Mick Vipond

Berkhamsted manager Mick Vipond

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Berkhamsted manager Mick Vipond is looking to add a ‘real leader’ to his side next season after seeing his team fall short of their pre-season target of promotion from the SSML Premier Division.

The Comrades have experienced an up and down campaign, and currently sit in sixth position in the table – despite being the second highest scorers in the league, behind runaway champions Kings Langley.

You look at it and you can see that there isn’t a massive rebuilding task needed for next season

Berkhamsted FC manager Mick Vipond

“You look at it and you can see that there isn’t a massive rebuilding task needed for next season – if you add on 12 or 15 points from games where we have been really poor, we could be challenging for promotion,” said Vipond.

“My aim at the end of the season will be to get a couple of weeks’ rest, and then add the couple of things that we have been lacking this year. A real leader on the pitch, for example, will make a massive difference for us.

“We’ll look back on this season and say that we could have achieved what we set out to do, which was to get promotion – I don’t think that we were a million miles away from that.

“The plus side is that we have got 100 goals up for the season, so in regards to the goals for column, things are looking very healthy. The problem is the goals against column.”

Berko have conceded 63 goals so far this season – five more than Kings Langley and second placed London Colney combined – and it was a sloppy goal that cost them the three points in a 2-2 draw with Stotford on Saturday.

Speaking about the game, Vipond said: “We started really poorly and were really slow out of the blocks, unlike we had been in the last few games. But we told the players at half-time that if we were patient and passed the ball, we’d get opportunities.

“Young Jay Caines came in from the reserves and did very, very well. We swapped the first team leading goalscorer for the reserves leading goalscorer and he worked really hard to get the first one then set up the second.

“It as a pretty awful mistake from our goalkeeper that gifted them their equaliser – I think he must have misjudged the flight of the ball.

“It was disappointing to draw in the end after coming back from a goal behind to get our noses in front.

“I said to the boys after the game that even when you are playing teams down the bottom end of the table, you cannot afford to switch off or start slowly. We did both of those and were punished for it.”