NOTE: FIRST HOME GAME - WEDNESDAY 21st vs BIDEFORD
We're delighted to get the season underway and Danny Greaves was able to spend a few minutes with us to let us know how the squad is shaping up and how pre-season has gone.
Danny Greaves: "So we are about to kick off our season away at Highworth. And like all clubs up and down the country, we go into this new season with much excitement and optimism at this stage. Us more than most, I would say, after a really difficult 12 months or so, which ultimately ended up with us being relegated last season. We've drawn a line under that, and we are really looking forward to going into the new season.
"In a weird way, even after the disappointment of the relegation, there is a real feel good factor building around the place. And that’s come about for a number of reasons. We’ve acquired a decent squad, I’m really happy with the players we’ve got working with us at the moment."
"We’ve bought in nine new players, five of which have played for the club previously and experienced some very good times with the club in the past. Hopefully they can do that again with us. We have a core group of players that we’ve managed to retain from last year, we have retained them for a reason. They stuck with us through thick and thin last year and we ultimately stuck with them as they are the ones who rolled up their sleeves week in week out, in what was a really challenging season. I know some of them have been with the club for three or four years, and I know all the players that were connected with us last year, have the bit between their teeth… looking forward to righting some wrongs this season."
"The feel good factor also comes around the fact that we going into a league that has a real good number of local derbies. That brings it’s own excitement and the fans get to go to some of the local grounds that they’ve been to previously, when the club was in this league. I know that they are really excited about that. So are the players. But with that local derbies bring their own challenges. We feel that within the group, we’ve got the characters to be able to deal with those local derbies. We know as well that every game in this league is going to be difficult you can see from the results last year everyone can take points off everybody."
"So we know we need to be right at it, we’ve ultimately come off the back of a disappointing season, so we’ve go no divine right to just go out there and win games. But Hopefully our preseason has seen us in good stead and we feel that we’ve had a steady pre-season. We’ve come through 7 games without losing a game which, although it’s pre-season, we know it counts for nothing. As what matters is what happens when that first ball is kicked on the 17th, but it does winning…and not losing… breeds confidence especially into a new group where we are trying to gel and find out about each other, finding out how we are going to play."
"So really happy how preseason has gone and really looking forward to kicking that first ball on 17th, so hopefully we can get as many fans as possible coming out to travel to Highworth, and if you don’t make that game we’re home against Bideford (Wednesday 21st Home)."
"The last home game last season against Salisbury was brilliant, the fans came out in big big numbers, it was a real good atmosphere around the place and hopefully we can have that again on Wednesday at home against Bideford and throughout the season."
"Hopefully we can just have a much more enjoyable season than last year. If we all play to our potential, and everybody rolls their sleeves up and put the graft in to fight for the club then I’m sure we’ll hopefully win more than we lose."
"I’m looking forward to it, I hope to see you Saturday…if not be there on Wednesday."