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Commercial manager backs Mildenhall Fen Tigers to challenge for National League play-off place in 2019

Mildenhall Fen Tigers’ commercial manager Lee Chipchase believes the club’s new management team have built a side that is capable of developing into play-off contenders in the 2019 National League, writes Graham Clark.

Following several weeks of negotiations it was announced on Saturday that the 44-year-old will form part of a consortium, alongside local businessman Greg Palmer, and unnamed partners, that will take over the day to day running of the third tier club from Kevin Jolly.

Phil Kirk (right) is taking a break
Phil Kirk (right) is taking a break

“Our plan is to make the play-offs, and we are not going in there to mess about but we are going in there to try and get somewhere,” said Chipchase.

“We shouldn’t be losing at home with that side if they stay fit. Danny Ayres, David Wallinger and Jason Edwards should be strong, while it was important getting Sam Bebee back.

“I think Charlie Brooks will surprise a lot of people as he is very good out of the gates and is an aggressive rider.

“I think if we win all our home meetings and pick up a couple of away wins we should be in the play-offs.

While Chipchase, who is also part of the committee at Mildenhall Cricket Club, admits to being nervous about his new role on the consortium, it issomething he is looking forward to.

“I am a little apprehensive and nervous as you just hope people come through the door, but I am excited,” said Chipchase.

“We are not doing this to make money, we are doing it to keep the club going and we want to see some positivity.”

An announcement was made by the club yesterday that former Stoke Potters manager Malcolm Vasey will be joining the West Row-based outfit’s management team next season.

“It is fair to say no one in the sport knows more about the National League than Malcolm does and this will be extremely useful as we embark on our tenure at Mildenhall,” added Chipchase.

“Phil Kirk (existing team manager) is currently taking a break from the sport following a difficult personal year, and we will await his decision when he is ready in the New Year as to his future role within the club if he does decide to stay with us, which we hope he does.”