Good start vital for the Yellows
BERTIE Cozic says a strong start to the league campaign is vital if Tiverton Town are serious about challenging for the title.
New manager John Clarkson has made no secret of the fact that winning the Southern League Division One South & West crown is the club's priority this season.
Anything less would be seen as a disappointment, with 35-year-old Frenchman Cozic among a plethora of new signings for the Ladysmead outfit to support their title bid.
The expensively-assembled Yellows start their campaign at home to Cirencester Town on Saturday, followed by tricky-looking trips to Paulton Rovers and Merthyr Town.
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And Cozic says points from these encounters are crucial to set the ball rolling for a tilt at the title.
"A good start is very important because we need to set the momentum, set the pace and push really hard," said Cozic, who spent five seasons with Exeter City.
"If you have a good start and win your first few games then that can set the pattern for the rest of the season.
"If you don't pick up a win in your first few games then people can get frustrated, so it is important to start well."
Cozic's move came after the midfielder spent two years out of the game following his retirement.
He was heavily linked with a move to Tivvy when Mark Saunders was in charge, but nothing materialised.
The midfielder is one of several experienced players to have joined the Yellows this summer, with defender Steve Tully having signed from the Grecians.
Competition for places is likely to be intense, particularly with Cozic having been out of the game for so long and the likes of Shane Krac and Sam Malsom impresing in pre-season.
But Cozic – who has played regularly throughout pre-season, welcomed the competition, and underlined just how important experience would be in Clarkson's new-look side.
"We have some good experience here and some good young players too, so it's important that the older players can lead and help the younger ones," he said.
"Tully coming in means good experience and you can't beat that either on or off the pitch. Having an experienced player to talk to will help the players.
"What is going on at Tivvy at the moment was a big factor in me joining. What John wants to achieve here is quite big and there is lots going on.
"But that ambition also means that you have to perform. The competition is fierce but I think that is good and the players have to accept that.
"If you don't have any competition then you are not going to push yourself. Nobody wants to be out of the team and nobody wants to sit on the bench.
"Everyone gelling will take a little while but we have a good, good spirit. We have a lot of players who are good on the ball too."