Having seen his side claim an historic league and cup double this season, London Lions manager Andy Landesberg insists he won’t be happy unless they end this season with a treble.
Their 5-0 win Hatfield Social, which saw them crowned Herts Senior County League Premier Division champions, came three days after they beat Wodson Park to lift the Herts Centenary Trophy, though their season is far from over with them facing a semi-final tie at Lemsford next weekend, meaning they’re just two wins away from securing a momentous league and cup treble.
Believing they can achieve even more this season, Landesberg said: “When we won the league, I could tell that there was a sense of excitement that we had completed part two, but what was very clear is that no one will be happy unless we complete the targets we set ourselves from day one.
“To be the manager of this group has been unbelievable, a journey that we have all been on together and I’m so proud and honoured to be the manager of this special group. But the job is not completed, we all know that. I can’t drop my guard for anything, especially now.
“Winning this treble will be something special for me, Darren Yarlett (assistant manager), Steve Grenfell (coach) the players, but most importantly this great club – what it stands for and what it has consistently delivered on behalf of our community.”
Leading the way in the league since the opening day, they’ve won 23 of their 24 games to date, losing just the once back in December. Reflecting on what he feels were the key factors in their success, he said: “Over the last three years, I’ve tried to build, nurture, encourage and develop this team with the help of Darren and Steve. We were a young side who had the talent and ability, unfortunately that does not win you trophies. Today we are a team that still has all that ability and talent, but now we know how to mix it with the toughest, we know how to compete and ultimately we know how to win. There is no trophy for second place.”
Their success will see them promoted to the Spartan South Midlands League Division One, and Landesberg is hoping they can flourish there too. “Beating Wodson Park indicates we have the ability and strength to move higher. Together the team will decide this is where we want to be. First we must complete our goal and then try and deliver even more success. That’s our focus. Sometime soon we will begin to plan for next season. This is a very exciting time for all of us. Finishing the job we started is our focus.”
Yarlett believes the side can emulate their title-winning feat next season, saying: “I think if we keep everyone together and have the level of commitment that we had this season, we can go and win that league as will. Personally my aim is to win the title next season keep on building.”
Delighted with how this season has panned out, he said: “I’m extremely proud of this group. Last season we finished 27 points off the top and the tone was set in pre-season this year,
the performances have been to such a high level and at times they have even surprised me.”
He is also just as determined to complete the treble as Landesberg. “It’s all I’m thinking about”, he said. “We have won the double but I can’t really enjoy it yet, people said to me, after winning the final and title ‘you don’t seem happy that you have won the double’, they are correct. I want all three then I will celebrate. If we can complete it then it will go down as the greatest achievement in my Lions career, that would be seven trophies in eight seasons, but three in one season would be unbelievable. The work Andy, Steve and myself have put in I think we deserve it.”