IAN White has emphasised patience and the importance of consolidation as Weymouth begin their Vanarama National League South campaign today away at Maidstone United (3pm).

The Terras’ chairman also spoke of the baggage that fell off the backs of the members of the board when they beat Farnborough on the last day of last season, which ensured promotion for the club.

With the Terras the hot favourites for the title last season, they face a different challenge in the National League South of aiming to survive and consolidate.

White told Echosport: “I think we want to consolidate, we don’t want to go back down again and I think this is probably a good season to start the consolidation because only two get relegated because they are increasing to 24 teams for next season.

“Our biggest thing is we want to consolidate, but that does not mean we are not going to try because of course we are.

“Mark (Molesley, Weymouth manager) and his management team are totally focused on giving it their best shot and I think we have a chance we could do something, I think we might surprise a few teams, so we want to consolidate, this is where we want to be and higher if we can.“

The challenge of consolidation begins today, with a visit to one of the clubs relegated from the National League last season, in Maidstone.

Discussing the match ahead, White said: “Maidstone today is a huge challenge for us, I think it will really show us where we are. Even as early as that, so it will be good.

“I just want people to give Mark a chance, be patient, we kept 75 per cent of the squad, we are going to try our utmost but we are going to do it properly.

“We promised years ago that we would never break the bank again and we are not doing it. Even with the rejuvenating of the stadium to some extent, that has not even broken us because we have managed to obtain grants to do it. It is all positive stuff, we just need people to be patient.”

With the new season starting, the chairman took time to reflect on the past nine years during which the club was in the seventh tier of English football.

White said: “The club, nine years, not in the wilderness, the Southern League has been a challenge through all of our other problems besides the football itself. But I think most of us, the board anyway, when we won promotion, when we beat Farnborough it felt like we had walked through a door and a lot of the old garbage and baggage from the last seven or eight years just fell off our backs.

“The other point about it is, we have not said much about it, but we did it without breaking the bank. In 23 years at the club it is without a doubt the best management team we have ever had at the club and I believe in them.”

White also gave an insight into how it was for the club as they set out to recruit further players.

White said: “I think we have recruited really, really well. I am really pleased with the players we have brought in. It did look early pre-season that this was going to be a challenge in the sense of bringing players in because some of the money floating around in this league is just stupid.

“When you think of Aldershot got reprieved, three clubs got relegated from the National League and all three have come into this league.”

Dorset Echo

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