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Tigers boss Valdas pleased by progress

PUBLISHED: 15:07 03 March 2010 | UPDATED: 14:55 24 August 2010

Tigers manager.

Tigers manager.

By Ben Kosky KINGSBURY London Tigers boss Valdas Dambrauskas has conceded promotion is probably out of reach due to his side s daunting fixture backlog. The Tigers, whose 3-1 win over Biggleswade on Saturday nudged them into the top half of the Spartan So

By Ben Kosky

KINGSBURY London Tigers boss Valdas Dambrauskas has conceded promotion is probably out of reach due to his side's daunting fixture backlog.

The Tigers, whose 3-1 win over Biggleswade on Saturday nudged them into the top half of the Spartan South Midlands League, have played only four league games this year due to the weather.

That leaves them with a staggering 19 fixtures to squeeze into a matter of weeks and Dambrauskas admitted: "The league position doesn't show our real strength.

"We were fifth last time and this season we had a great chance to achieve something bigger but, because of the weather, it's going to be very difficult for us.

"We have exactly two months left and almost half of our fixtures to play, which is crazy. We'll be playing Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday for the next three or four weeks and even the top teams couldn't last that pace."

Although the possibility of elevation to a higher level may be beyond his team, Dambrauskas - now in his third season as manager - is delighted with the progress Tigers have made.

The Tigers boss received the league's Team of the Month award for December - during which they won four games and drew the other - before Saturday's game.

"We had a comment from one of the league officials that 'Kingsbury London Tigers may not be a top three team yet, but they've definitely improved the standard of the league'," added Dambrauskas. "That's the best compliment we can get.

"I think we stand out in terms of the way we run the club and the way we play - we try to play European football, pass and move and get everyone involved.

"Three of the players come from the main estates where we do our youth work, they have been with the Tigers since they were 12 and it's really good to see them coming through.

"We've given them a chance to play semi-pro football and in the FA Cup and, who knows, maybe move up the ladder. Basically that is our job, to get players to a higher level."

But the Tigers' hopes of cup glory were dashed on Tuesday when they went down 2-1 to Aylesbury in the semi-final of the Dudley Latham Memorial Trophy.

An own goal by Aylesbury's Kevin Mealor levelled the scores after Greg Williams had put the Buckinghamshire side in front, but Nathan Graham netted a second to send Kingsbury out.

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