The Cherry Red Records Combined Counties League is all set to kick-off again on Saturday with Ascot United, Eversley & California and Sandhurst Town all in action.
For Ascot in particular, feelings about the new season will certainly be mixed with the Yellamen looking dead certs for promotion prior to the early end of the 2019/20 season, if not the league title.
Manager Jamie Tompkins has managed to secure the majority of the side that almost went all the way and lifted the club to it’s highest ever level of competition and has been proactive in his messaging: “Sure, it was very disappointing [the early end of the season]! But our message is clear – no matter which league we play in, the aim is to keep improving as a team and as individuals.
“There were so many positives from last season and we have great motivation in the group to replicate but also better last season’s performances. We train very hard and competitively, making our environment a very enjoyable one and one were players love to play for the club.”
Ahead of the clubs opening day trip to Molesey, Tompkins simply said “All players fit and available.”
At Division One Eversley & California, who host FC Deportivo Galicia, boss Matthew Angell has been building up from the other end of the league: “We have fortunately kept hold of last season squad that performed so well from Christmas onwards and have added a few new ones. Because of Covid we have a few who have come back 10 times fitter and feels like we have two new players in them. Also feel that now we have a settled side and have had that throughout pre-season working on various bits that we should be at a different end of the table this season.”
Ahead of the first game of the season, Angell – who has captain Ali Dickie and the impressive Cam Blackie in his side, said with regard to team news: “Pretty much at full strength with a couple still coming back from injury. Liam Vaughan will face a last-minute fitness test and Harry Ambler, Dave Appleton and possibly Ben Andrews will make there League debuts.”
Sandhurst Town – who last season were challenging for promotion to the Premier Division – kick off with a visit to Westside.