Craig and Jon gave an extensive insight into the aspirations for the coming season. Craig indicated that the transfer of Sahr Kabba to Havant & Waterlooville would not mean a dirth of goals in the future. Goals had been produced from all the squad but the Club had never had a 20 goal a season striker. It will be a great opportunity for new signings Chas Hemmings and Ashley Kington to make their mark. Ashley has already scored 3 goals in preseason - 2 of them at Yate Town last week and he expected great things from Chas. Both players fit the profile of the Club that has been created during the last two seasons.
Craig also described how football has progressed over the past few years from lads of 14 going straight into adult teams. Now we have U 11 through to U 19 playing in the Academy style to nurture them to eventually be part of the first team squad. It was announced that the Club are to create an Under 21 squad so that players can go seamlessly from 18 through to the first team. The U21s will not figure in a League but be playing together once a month against Football League Academy sides like Bristol City and Plymouth Argyle. This is the future of our club and the Board are making resources available to achieve this.
Both Jon and Craig outlined the main reasons for preseason games which mainly are opportunities to try out eager and talented players to see how they might fit into the squad but also to gain true fitness. Two League Clubs who have visited us this year have remarked on the high fitness levels of our players. One club said they were fitter than some league players.
With the signnig of Ashley, Chas and of course Ross Stearn there is now serious competition for most positions in the team and difficult decisions might have to be made over team selection.
The quality of the playing surface was also mentioned.
Chairman Paul Bliss congratulated the Football Management Team for their success in retaining the Somerset Premier Cup and the position in the League. He said The Seagulls had now consolidated their position in the Conference South.
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