NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: The new adventure begins for Eynesbury Rovers
- Credit: Archant
A new era for Eynesbury begins this Saturday . . . and they are in buoyant mood.
Rovers start life in the Premier Division of the Spartan South Midlands League when facing Oxhey Jets in their curtain-raiser at Hall Road, 3pm.
They are keen to make a big impression following a switch from the United Counties League, where they finished in the top seven in each of the last four seasons.
"We're certainly not going to set ourselves up for a fall by claiming we're going to win the title," said Rovers assistant boss Warren Brown.
"But, on the other hand, we've not moved into a new league just to make the numbers up.
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"We've had four good seasons in a row in the UCL and we're looking to be around the top six again in this league.
"We've only lost one player this summer and have made some good additions, so we're confident we have the nucleus of a squad which can be successful.
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"We want to get our first win on the board as soon as possible and hopefully that can happen on Saturday.
"We've heard Oxhey are a big, physical side so it looks like being a tough test, but a big crowd and three points would be the ideal way to start a new era for the club."
Curtis Hartley is the sole departure this summer as he joined higher-level Corby Town.
Rovers have drafted in defender Dave Baker and wideman Jake Stronge from Newport Pagnell (another club to make the switch from United Counties League to Spartan South Midlands League) while midfielder Craig Daniels joins from Bedford Town.
Brown says Rovers, managed by Mark Ducket, are still keen to add a striker to their squad. That's a priority with Steve Gentle unavailable for the first couple of weeks of the campaign.
The opener against Oxhey is followed by a Tuesday trip to Biggleswade United (a side Rovers beat 8-1 in a pre-season friendly recently). Oxhey were a mid-table side at this level last season while United finished in fourth spot.
Rovers have also beaten lower-level Bedford FC this summer while suffering narrow defeats to higher-grade sides St Neots Town and Yaxley. They were due to complete their preparations by hosting Hitchin on Tuesday, but that match was postponed.