Pre-season always brings new optimism but there seems to be even more around the club at the moment and that was clear to see at the first session where 20 players (first team and reserves) turned up for a tough session in 25 degrees heat.
There were a lot of new faces and it was good for everyone to meet each other. We have another session this Thursday and then we are into the pre-season friendlies against Manchester Central, Styal, Manchester Gregorians, Linotype and Hazel Grove. With us managing to retain pretty much all of last year’s players and the addition of 6 or 7 players, we are naturally going to have strong competition for places this season.
The disappointing news to report on players is the injury to midfielder, Tom Lloyd, who has knee ligament damage, which is set to side line him for several months. Tom along with several other youngsters, forced his way into the first team last season and put in some excellent performances. He won the Young Player of the season award showing what a bright prospect he is. The players and coaches wish him a speedy recovery.
The Cheshire Premier Division is going to be very different this year with a number of clubs moving up to Northwest Counties and 5 teams (Daten, Egerton, FC St Helens, Middlewich and Pilkington) coming up to replace them.
A lot of these teams are unknown to me and Cowelly so it will be good to get Ed Haslam’s insight on them with his experience from AFC Macclesfield. Knutsford’s manager, Scott Dignan has moved on after 4 seasons at the club, so it will be interesting to see how they handle the changes.
I suspect the likes of Malpas, Congleton Vale, Whaley and Knutsford to be all up there and our target has to be to get into that mix of teams this season. We’ll also be competing in the 3 cups (League Cup, Stockport Cup and Cheshire Cup) so there are high hopes to add to the trophy that we won last season.
Finally, I’ve started working with Cheshire Under 16’s setup with ex teammate Allan Glover. This should help me gain some valuable coaching experience and keeps me connected with the local players coming through. The current Cheshire side has a number of Macclesfield Borough players including Poynton’s Nathan Caine. One to watch for the future!
Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any queries.