Season preview: Brackley and Wilkin target fast start ahead of Tamworth opener

Kevin Wilkin
Kevin Wilkin

Kevin Wilkin and his new-look Brackley side start their National League North campaign with a home clash against Tamworth this weekend – and the Saints boss is hoping to hit the ground running.

Wilkin has rebuilt the squad he inherited from Jon Brady last season as Saints prepare for Saturday’s encounter, which is followed by a trip to recently-relegated Kidderminster Harriers on Tuesday.

It’s a tough start, especially as Wilkin has yet to secure an experienced keeper but he expects to have the situation resolved this week.

He said: “We’ve made a lot of signings and there have been plenty of changes here so we need things to settle down quickly. We hope the business we’ve done in the summer will prove to be profitable.

“The pre-season games have all gone well, except for the one at Banbury where I made too many changes to the starting line-up, but we have to take that form into Saturday’s game. We’ve scored a lot of goals in pre-season, which is encouraging.”

Saints have survived on the final day in the last two campaigns and Wilkin will be doing all he can to make sure that isn’t the case in his first full season in charge.

He said: “It’s a tough start for us. Tamworth have the nucleus of last season’s squad and have made two or three good signings, they are well established at this level.

“Kidderminster will be another tough test and then we go to AFC Fylde, so we know it’s going to be a difficult start.”

Recent additions include former Northampton Town midfielder Claudio Dias, from Barton Rovers, Shawn Richards from AFC Rushden & Diamonds, and David Pitt, who has joined from UHLSport Hellenic League outfit Ascot United, having completed a hat-trick against Brackley Town Saints last season.

Pitt, who used to be on Brentford’s books, made his international debut for St Vincent in the 2018 World Cup qualifier against Trinidad & Tobago earlier this year.

Pitt has scored three goals in two friendlies and Wilkin feels he could develop into a decent player with more work on the training ground.