New Buckingham Town manager Chris Robson is eager to get his first season in charge under way ahead of the first pre-season game next week.
Robson took over from Neil Griffiths last month and will oversee his first game at Long Buckby next Saturday.
He said: “I’m really looking forward to starting, as I am sure the players are too. As always, pre-season will be hard work for the players, but in this division it is needed.
“You cannot rely just on talent. To compete at the right end of the table you need to be very fit, sharp and organised so we will work hard on this from day one.
“It’s important the players also enjoy it, so the balls will be out from the first session, and we will be concentrating on fitness work with the balls.
“The first two weeks of pre-season we have decided to have open sessions so all players, old and new, are welcome to come down and impress the coaching team and try to earn a spot in the squad that we will pick for the season.
“There will be a lot of new faces at the club, but for me it is also vitally important that last season’s squad is given the chance also to impress. They were part of a good team that got us to a solid mid-table finish, so they must have something about them to do that.”
The Robins open pre-season with a trip to Long Buckby, followed by home games against Oxford United (July 19), Two Touch (July 22), Clean Slate (July 26), Stony Stratford (August 2) and AFC Rushden & Diamonds (August 5). Robson added: “We have six pre-season friendlies arranged so far, which is a good opportunity to build up match fitness.
“We have a prestige tie against League Two Oxford United, so I’m sure all the players will be desperate to play in that game to test themselves against a professional outfit.”
The club are looking for a couple more midweek games away from home. If a club is interested, contact Darren Seaton on 07808 792486.
The United Counties League have confirmed the Robins’ opening league fixtures. They open with a trip to Peterborough Sports on August 9 before hosting Northampton Spencer at Manor Fields on August 12, at 7.45pm.