With a plethora of new players signed up, Haverhill Borough manager Martin Westcott is optimistic for a good start to the new season.
Borough get their Thurlow Nunn League First Division season under way on August 8 with a trip to Dereham Town Reserves before a home game the following Wednesday with Wivenhoe Town.
There have been some high profile summer departures, with last season’s leading scorer Ryan Weaver and winger Owen Longley switching to Haverhill Rovers and Luke Latham joining West Wratting.
However, Borough have recruited a swathe of players, plus physiotherapist Natalie Harman (the first time the club has had tehir own physio), giving rise to hope for a strong campaign.
Player-manager Westcott said: “I think going into the first few weeks of the season we are certainly happy with where we are.
“Maybe we could do with another forward, that would be ideal, but we are pretty strong.”
Having their own physio is also an important step for the club, as Westcott explained: “I think having a physio will be more like having one or two extra players in the squad because we will be able to get them back fit and playing again sooner.”
Borough have already recruited Hundon’s top scorer of the past two seasons, Craig Pruden.
Winger Matt Staines and defender Bartosz Pater have both joined from White Notley, who finished in mid-table last season in the Essex and Suffolk Border League Premier Division.
Former Haverhill Rovers players, midfielder Sam Green and right-back Ryan Holder have also joined as has former Coggeshall Town goalkeeper Graham Smith, who had a short spell there last season.
Both Green and Holder have been out of local football for some time, the former has been living in Australia while Holder has been focusing on his personal trainer business.
Of Holder, Westcott said: “He is champing at the bit to come and play, which is really good news for us.
“He will be a real asset.”
Striker Lee Salmons and defender Harry O’Connor are still some weeks away from returning because of knee injuries, but Harry Halls and Aaron Forshaw, who both missed a lot of games last season with injury, are now fit.
Of the season ahead, Westcott said: “We would like to do well in the FA Cup and FA Vase primarily because of the prize money but also because it gives you some status as well.
“We would like to finish in the top three, but I think it’s going to be quite an open league this season and there will be eight or nine teams who will be looking to finish in the top three.
“For me, the Suffolk Senior Cup is the one I would also like to do well in.”
n Borough play a re-arranged pre-season friendly at The New Croft against Mildenhall Town tonight (7.45pm). The game was cancelled last Friday due to the heavy rain.