No need to mention relegation fight, says Wisbech Town boss ahead of pre-season campaign
- Credit: Archant
Wisbech Town boss Brett Whaley admits his squad may be some players short of full strength, but is confident the team can build from last season’s relegation scrap.
Whaley inherited a struggling side fighting for its step four survival in the Northern Premier League South East Division when he returned to the club in February, before the campaign was curtailed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
During lockdown, the club has made eight new signings with nine of last season’s squad also returning, as the team prepare to begin their pre-season schedule behind closed doors this weekend.
“It’s the most unusual pre-season I’ve ever had. We’ve been stop-start and only able to do certain things at certain points,” Whaley said.
“It will be interesting to see how the boys will come back after such a long break.
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“I’m confident we’ve got the ability where last year, we inherited a side that was severely lacking in confidence.
“We don’t have to worry about results from last year; it’s a fresh start with a new group of players, which is exciting.”
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The Fenmen will take on clubs from steps four to six between August 8 and September 5, before they are due to begin their FA Cup campaign with a preliminary round tie on September 12 followed by the NPL season opener on September 19.
Whaley hopes staying at step four could help Wisbech’s chances of playing in a more localised league for the 2021-22 season if the non-league pyramid is restructured, but building confidence remains the key aim.
“We probably feel like we’re one, two players short of where we want to be, so there’s still some recruitment we’d like to do,” he said.
“There are some areas we’d like to strengthen and I think we’re not going to go out and chase players.
“We might have to be patient and that might mean starting the season a couple light. If that happens, that’s fine.
“From a squad point of view, we don’t want relegation mentioned within our dressing room.
“If we’re not involved in that scrap and you build confidence, you start looking ahead and higher up the table rather than over your shoulder.”
WISBECH TOWN FC PRE-SEASON FRIENDLIES
Sat 8 – Pinchbeck United - 1pm (H)
Tues 11 - Peterborough Sports - 7.45pm (H)
Sat 15 – Yaxley - 3pm (H)
Sat 22 – Holbeach United - 3pm (A)
Tues 25 – Peterborough Northern Star - 7.45pm (A)
Weds 26 – Downham Town - 7.45pm (H)
Sat 29 – Blackstones - 3pm (A)
Sat 5 - Soham Town Rangers - 3pm (A)