LITTLE Oakley boss Sean Tynan believes it’s a case of now or never in his side’s quest to move up the non-league pyramid.
The Acorns took a major step towards winning the Essex and Suffolk Border League title last weekend thanks to a 2-0 success at Alresford Colne Rangers.
It keeps them two points above Gas Recreation, who won 3-1 against Earls Colne, heading into tomorrow’s home game against Holland FC Reserves.
Whether they finish as champions or runners-up, Oakley look poised to move up to the Thurlow Nunn League.
And Tynan believes that in terms of climbing the non-league ladder, his club will never be better-placed to test themselves at step six level.
“It’s the right time to go up and the club is ready to move forward,” he said.
“It’s not just for us – the first team. It’s about taking the whole club forward.
“Some of our development boys are ready to go up into the reserves and some of the reserve boys will be knocking on the first-team door.
“The foundations are in place and if we don’t do it now, we never will.
“Everything is in place and the players have already committed for next season.
“Most have been here four or five years and want to test themselves at the next level and everyone in the dressing room wants to play for Oakley.
“Winning the title this season would be the pinnacle and it would give us even more confidence and momentum going into next season.
“It’s in our hands and having been top for three-quarters of the season, we want to see it through and get over the line.”
Two headed goals from Lewis Wood secured the Acorns’ victory at Alresford.
Meanwhile, in division one, the club’s reserves thumped Boxted Lodgers 8-1 while their second division A team won 3-0 at Hatfield Peverel Reserves.
“It was a very good performance at the weekend,” added Tynan.
“The boys did themselves proud, in terms of their work-rate, desire, passion and, of course, goals.
“I’m proud to manage these boys and, in fact, all three Oakley teams won again on Saturday.
“It just goes to show that hard work pays off.”
Oakley handed a debut to new signing Harry Parkes, who has just joined from Thurlow Nunn League neighbours Brantham Athletic.
“Harry’s a very exciting young centre forward,” said Tynan.
“He’s fast, strong and has an eye for goal.
“He liked what I said about the club going forward so it’s a big plus for us.”