After competing for the last two years in the Hellenic League, Southam United start their new campaign in the Oxfordshire Senior League Premier Division against Marston Saints on Saturday, writes David Hucker.
The pre-season programme brought mixed results for Southam with a heavy defeat away to Blackpool Wren Rovers one of three reverses in their eight matches.
They did finish with a flourish, beating Coventry Copsewood 1-0 at Bobby Hancocks Park, and manager Richard Kay will be hoping that he has a full squad to choose from on Saturday.
Kay has maintained that absences through holidays and players isolating with Covid has meant that he never had a full squad available during pre-season and expects his side’s performance to improve on Saturday.
“We now have 22 players signed on which is beyond my wildest dreams when we went into pre- season with a core of 8-9 players that have been with the club since the re-launch, said Kay.
“It’s important that, again, the dressing room environment is full of not just only good players, but good people that buy into what we have built at the club over the last two years.
“We have shown that, if players do well and perform to a high level, they will get opportunities to really make a good career for themselves in semi-professional football”.
The new season sees Ashley Knights take over as club captain from Brandon Hallmark who has moved to Hinckley AFC and Saints will be looking for players to step up in attack to replace prolific striker Levi Steele who is now with FC Stratford. Also gone are goalkeeper Edward Cox and academy graduate Chidilim Okolo, who has taken up a place at Manchester University.
Kick off at Bobby Hancocks Park is at 2.30pm.
There were mixed fortunes for Racing Club Warwick over the Bank Holiday, with a 5-1 defeat by Whitchurch Alport at Townsend Meadow on Saturday, followed by a 2-2 draw with Walsall Wood on Monday to pick up their first point of the campaign.
Matthew Gardner was in fine form scoring all three goals for Racers.
On Saturday (4th) they are at Lye Town, again in the Midland Football League Premier Division. Lye are eighth after two wins and two losses so far.
Then on Tuesday (7th) Worcester City visit ahead of another evening kick-off in the league on Monday (13th) at Romulus.