St Francis Rangers face a tough start in the Southern Combination Football League Premier Division with a trip to Horsham YMCA.
This will be Rangers manager Dave Shearing’s first season in charge, but he is no stranger to this league managing 14 different teams throughout his career. He is looking forward to the tests he faces. He said: “I am 100% looking forward to the challenge. Challenge is brilliant and a challenge is exactly what it is going to be.”
This closed season has seen plenty of departures, with all players leaving, meaning it has been a time for rebuilding the squad this summer, Shearing added: “This season it will be all youth and youngsters. There was a mass exodus of players last year for whatever reason, but we’ve managed to put a squad together that will need to be improved on, but we are going to go into it with our eyes wide open and give it our best shot.
“We’ve made a couple of decent signings. We have a Goalkeeper who played professionally in Poland. We signed some lads from Hastings and Crawley Down as well. We’re getting together but it’s going to be tough. We know what we’re up against, there isn’t going to be any surprises. We’re preparing them as much as we can. It’s going to be tough but enjoyable.”
With a whole new squad, pre-season has been important, but Shearing is still cautious of what is to come, he added: “Pre-season has been really good. Training has been excellent and well attended. Everything is really good, but you can’t take instant experience. They all need to hang together and take a few knocks, we will get through it, but it’s going to take a bit of time.
“Hard work is what I expect. Realistically we haven’t got any targets other than to stay in this division. We haven’t got a right to stay in the division so we need to earn it.”
Attention now turns to the first game of the season at Gorings Mead on Saturday, Shearing knows it’s going be a tricky start to the season, “It’s going to be very very tough. We’ve got one injury concern, but he’s 50/50 at the moment so hopefully he will be OK. Everything is going to take time, it’s a case of trial and patience.”
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