TONY BOWEN believes the town of Crowborough is ready for a successful football club, but accepts making that happen will take time.
Bowen has been Crowborough Athletic chairman for two months now and is slowly stamping his mark on the club.
He has been impressed by what the town's rugby club has done in recent years and feels the football side of the town can follow suit.
"We're a sleeping giant, there's no doubt about that," Bowen said. "For a town the size we are, we need to be doing a bit more. We need to continue producing locals players, but also need to get some experience from elsewhere to get ahead. Look at how well the rugby club are doing. They are showing the town what can be done. There are 25,000 people living in Crowborough, it's a big town and there's no reason why it can't be a nice sports town."
Key to Crowborough's future will be the youth set-up. The Crows have a whole host of football teams and this year have been running two U18 sides. That is an experiment that will continue next season.
"Every season these youngsters are getting more experience," Bowen said. "Some of these U18s coming through, you light the touch paper and they are brilliant straight away. Others take time and need a run of games. It's the same with any other sport.
"Look at cricketers. They need a run in the team. Now we're basically safe in this league, I'm sure that is what we'll be looking to do for the rest of the season. It's a great opportunity for us to give them a go."
Having such a pool of players to choose from is a massive boost, particularly with so many fixtures being postponed across the area in recent weeks.
The Sussex league has been extended into May and while the Crows have not had that many games called off – mainly due to the good drainage at the Alderbrook – they still have a backlog.
On Saturday the Crows travel to Chichester City and on Tuesday they are due to host East Preston. They will be looking to get back on track after some disappointing performances in recent weeks.