WOKINGHAM and Emmbrook FC still have seven matches left of this campaign, but manager Dan Bateman is already planning for the next one, writes Dave Wright.

And he has warned his players they are now playing for places for next season.

Speaking after the Sumas had defeated Didcot Town Reserves 4-2 last Saturday, Bateman revealed: “This season has been about consolidating and building again, but now I am planning for next season.”

And, following the arrival of several players, he believes his side is capable of finishing the current term well.

He added: “This win keeps us fourth and I haven’t given up on the top three. If we do, it will be a good season for us.”

Bateman is hoping his side will continue to play as well as they did in the first half, when they stormed into a four-goal lead, but they struggled to maintain their performance after the interval.

He commented: “I was really pleased with the result. Even in the warm-up, I thought we looked good and in the first half we were excellent.

“There was a lot of energy about us and we made a good start to the game, so I was pleased with that.

“The second half was a bit more difficult, but when you go 4-0 up by half time you can get a bit sloppy.”

The Sumas manager continued: “I have a squad of 20 players, so I have to leave four or five out each week, which means I have even more of a headache when selecting the team.

“But that is how it should be, if players go away because of other commitments, they have to fight to get back their place.

“As I’ve said, players are now playing for their places in next season’s squad, so I am hoping we finish this season strongly.”