Pic: Arthur Haigh/WhiteRosePhotos
PAUL CARDEN believes Altrincham will be the team to watch out for next season in the Evo-Stik Premier – but says he wouldn’t be at Warrington Town if they didn’t have a shot at promotion.
The Yellows manager has had a busy summer, and a quadruple swoop on Thursday pretty much put the finishing touches to his squad ahead of the new campaign.
Former Fleetwood title winning full-back Shaun Beeley drops two leagues to join from Barrow, while central defenders Liam Goulding and Jack Higgins also sign up. The quartet was completed when Joe Mwasile put pen to paper from Nantwich Town.
Warrington’s line-up will be much changed next season and Carden sees no reason why his new-look team can’t put in a challenge.
“It’s always a strong league, every single year,” said the former Cambridge United, Burton Albion and Chester City midfielder.
“There may not be an obvious winner but there’s a lot of quality around – more and more better standard players and playing at this level than ever before.
“I think Altrincham could start as a few people’s favourites. They are arguably the biggest club in the league so if they start well, the fans will get right behind them and their crowds will swell.
“They’ve made a very good appointment in Phil Parkinson. He did superbly with Nantwich in this league last season with less money to work with. He’s already made good signings and knows the league inside out.
“It will be competitive, but there doesn’t seem to be too many sides you look at and think ‘wow they should win it’ so it’s great that it could be open this year.”
Carden has been one of the busier managers in the Evo-Stik Premier – and got many of his deals done from Norway.
“I’ve been out there coaching for the Jamie Carragher foundation,” he explained. “So I’ve not really had too much of a break from football, but that’s the way life is.
“I’ve been on the phone non-stop getting players in and while we’ve made quite a number of changes I felt it was needed. I’m not looking forward to the bill coming through, but hopefully it will all be worth it!
“We want to be up there this season. I left a comfortable job at Tranmere to take on this challenge and I wouldn’t have agreed to come if I didn’t think Warrington had the capabilities to push on up the ladder.
“The chairman here is an ambitious man and he’s backed me the whole way. That’s what you want as a manager, he trusts me to get on with it and with a bit of luck we can reward him with a good go at it next season.”
Carden added: “I think we have a very strong attack, maybe the strongest in the league. Now with our new central defenders signed up we will be looking more balanced.”