NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: New Godmanchester Rovers boss is confident he has the quality - and hopeful he has the commitment - in his squad
- Credit: Archant
New manager Ollie Drake is in positive mood ahead of his first season as Godmanchester Rovers manager.
Rovers’ first competitive outing under Drake is less than a fortnight away as they launch the new campaign with an FA Cup extra preliminary round trip to fellow Step 5 side Cogenhoe United on August 5.
They then kick off their Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division challenge with a visit to newly-promoted Coggeshall Town on August 9 - providing neither side is involved in a cup replay.
Drake’s new-look side are still unbeaten in pre-season with two wins and two draws ahead of a trip to Deeping Rangers last night (Tuesday).
They host another United Counties League Premier Division team, Yaxley, tomorrow (Thursday), in their final friendly before focusing on training ahead of the big kick-off early next month.
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Drake, who was appointed after guiding Hardwick to the Cambs League top-flight title last season, said: “Results are not important to me in pre-season.
“It’s about performances, gaining fitness and a new group of players getting to know each other . . . and we’re doing ok on all three of those fronts.
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“Player availability has been a disappointment due to holidays and work commitments. We’ve found ourselves going into games down to the bare bones, but I’d rather that happen now than once the season is here.
“We’ve got a good group of players together and as long as we have the right levels of commitment, I’ll be quite happy.
“We’ve intentionally left the last week of pre-season free to focus on training and ensuring everything is right physically, mentally and tactically for when we go into the first game.
“We can’t wait for it in all honesty. I’m told I’m the youngest-ever manager for an FA Cup game and playing in that competition will also be a new experience for a few of the lads.”
Rovers drew 4-4 with Cambs League side Brampton last Saturday. Joe Furness, Tom Spark, Zac Knight-Percival and an own goal contributed to their tally.
Martin Turner (2), Matt Gearing and Andrew Conway hit the Brampton goals.