Optimistic Tommy ready for long haul

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With the fixture lists announced, pre-season training kicking off and a solid core of 11 first-team players on board, things seem to be falling nicely into place for Eastbourne Borough Football Club.

The Borough boys got back to business this week, resuming training on Thursday in preparation for the dawn of the new season, which continues to inch closer on the horizon.

However,boss Tommy Widdrington is not worried about the ever-nearing season start date and remains positive about the position the team are currently in.

In securing the signature of goalkeeper Craig Ross earlier this week, Borough have a strong core of 11 players, all with experience of competing at Conference South level.

Plus, with the possibility of Elliott Charles and Sam Cole joining the cause still a realistic one, Widdrington is more than content with the faces he has on his squad list and the other options available to him.

He said, “I’m very happy with the core 11 players I have in front of me.

“In regards to Sam (Cole), I’ve only just got back from holiday so haven’t had a chance to talk to him properly but I have spoke with him on the phone and we’ve had some positive chats.

“Where one or the other of us have been unavailable to respond, it’s probably drawn out longer than it needs to.

“It’s the same with Elliott. Players are entitled to look around - I did it when I was a player, so it’s fair enough.

“It is crunch time now, though, so decisions will be made.

“I’m keeping an eye on the academy and what’s coming through the others areas of the football club.

“Add to that, the potential of players joining from outside of the club. I’ve invited half a dozen or so people to come in this first week and have a trial.

“We’ll have a look at them, they’ll have a look at us and you never know, something might spring out of that.”

Earlier this week, Borough learned their 2013/14 campaign curtain-raiser will come away to Weston-Super-Mare - a 400-mile round trip that will be the longest journey they will have to make all season.

The Sports will face-off against local rivals and newly-promoted outfit Whitehawk at home on Boxing Day and away on New Year’s Day, before finishing the season away to Farnborough.

Aside from Bank Holidays, there are three midweek games scheduled - at home to Tonbridge Angels on August, 20, away to Eastleigh on September, 14 and away to Basingstoke Town on March, 11.

Widdrington insists he and his men are not daunted by the long-haul trip of the opening day of the season, instead using it as a goal to work towards in the forthcoming weeks.

He said, “Everything we do as a team will be geared for that first game of the season.

“While we will have half an eye on other things, like fitness and conditioning, Weston will be mentioned more than any other team in our dressing room because that’s what we’re working towards.

“Last season, we started with a long trip to Dorchester and we lost it in the last five minutes, so hopefully this time we can keep going for 95 minutes instead of just 85.

“We’re all really looking forward to getting back together to train.

“Everybody says when you’re a player, you finish playing at the end of the season, take two or three week’s break and then you’re itching to get back out there.”

Confirmed pre-season friendlies: Tues, July 23 at Hastings and away to Eastbourne Town Thurs, August 1.