After a successful summer, both on and off the pitch, you’d forgive Eastbourne Town boss Danny Bloor for being confident ahead of the new season.
The manager has watched his side cruise to victory in four of their six pre-season fixtures, including over local rivals Eastbourne Borough and Eastbourne United, while also adding a wealth of experience to his squad with seven new signings.
However, despite their success, Bloor is reluctant to read too much into friendly results and will wait until the season gets underway this weekend before making a true judgement.
He said, “Pre-season counts for very little in the end. Obviously it’s good to see everyone come together and get good results but they don’t count. What matters is whether they can do the same in our next match when we go to Faversham on Saturday.”
Eastbourne kick-off their 2012/2013 Ryman League Division One South campaign with an away clash at Faversham Town, who finished two places below the Saffrons outfit in the table last season, before playing their first match at home on Tuesday night against recently relegated side Horsham.
They do so on the back of four straight friendly wins, the latest being a 2-1 victory over Hastings Town at the Saffrons last week. It was during that match that former Borough favourite Ben Austin, set up by his teammate at the Sports Matt Crabb, opened his Town account with the first goal of the match before fellow new signing Sonny Cobbs sealed the win.
Matt Crabb also didn’t hesitate to get his name on the score sheet for his new club, netting against Eastbourne United in Town’s 3-1 victory earlier this month.
Bloor said, “All the new signings are settling in really well. The atmosphere at the club and in the dressing room is great, better than ever.
“Both Matt and Ben bring great knowledge and experience to the team and obviously I’m delighted to have them here.”
Bloor will be hoping that experience around the club will benefit the youngsters breaking into the first team, like Max Hollobone and Joe Summerbell.
Both will hope for a more regular role in this squad this year after featuring in a few matches at the tail end of last season and being involved in the team’s pre-season squads so far.
“We’re looking to get a nice mix and match of youth and experience to try and improve our squad from last year. I’m immensely pleased with how they lads are progressing so far but there’s always room for improvement.
“We finished comfortably in mid-table last season but we’re really hoping to push on this year and challenge at the top. I really think we can do well, we’ve got a great squad here.”
Town will travel to Faversham this weekend without four of their first-team players. Danny Simmonds is on holiday while Adam Davidson and Sonny Cobbs are both sidelined through injury, suffering from a knee and calf problem respectively.
Matt Geard also carries a suspension over to the new season, meaning he too will be unavailable for Town’s opening fixture.