Biggleswade FC joint-manager Dave Northfield is happy with how his side’s pre-season preparations are shaping up, but he says his management team are still on the hunt for one more recruit to reinforce his defensive ranks ahead of the club’s first season at Step 4.
Speaking following Saturday’s 3-0 defeat to landlords Biggleswade Town in The Chairman’s Cup, Northfield reflects on how things are coming together since returning from the summer break: “I’m really pleased with how the first few weeks have gone. We have had a large influx of players looking to be involved, so it’s been fun to say the least. We have used the first few games to take a look at some of the new lads and to make decisions on who we think are going to add something to the side.
“We are in a great position with virtually all of last season’s squad re-signed, so it is just a case of trying to add to that and improve if we can in certain areas. We have lost four lads with Benat Pena returning to Spain, work has seen us lose Michael Carroll, while keeper Ross Tompkins felt he couldn’t commit to step 4. The other lad to leave was Justin Leavers who has moved to Potton where I think he will do brilliant and would expect with the right service he will get 20+ this season. Hopefully we will see Justin again in a season or two.”
Whilst pleased with the number of last season’s title-winning squad that have committed and signed on the dotted line for another season, Northfield tells more about some of his new additions that he hopes can make an impact in the coming weeks:
“So far we have added Sean McMonagle – a forward who was with Luton as a youngster. He had a decent goalscoring record in the second half of last season whilst at University playing Step 5 on the South Coast. Centre half Michael Fisher arrives from Bedford FC. We’ve been looking to get him on board for a while, so we are pleased to have him with us. We’ve signed a promising young full-back from Royston in Luke Oswick and attacking midfielder Charlie Joy has looked sharp too.
“For the second summer running we’ve had to find a new keeper. Losing Ross left a big hole as last season he was superb plus his experience and humour added so much to the changing room. However, we think we have added a great replacement in Tyler Josephs from Potton who last season was the keeper in our area everyone was talking about. We think all these lads will add something to our squad and we will use Tuesday at Stotfold to make final decisions on one or two others.”
When asked if he felt there were any areas we could still do with reinforcing ahead of the first competitive fixture of the season, which will be the FA Cup at home to Mildenhall Town on Saturday 10th August, he replied: “I am very happy with what we have so far. We feel we are strong in the attacking department with lots of options and feel the same about our midfield. It’s the centre back position where we are still looking and that’s taking nothing away from the lads we already have. We just feel we are a little thin on numbers in that area and could do with one more to add competition and reinforce us. If we can get one of those on board we will be in good nick.”
Northfield gave his thoughts and aspirations for the busy forthcoming week of friendlies, and further afield, as Biggleswade pit their wits against some household names at non-league level: “We have a big week game wise. After the Stotfold game we will start firming everything up and the games will become far more significant.
“I’ve been asked plenty of times what are we expecting for the coming season. I think myself, Skippy and James are firstly looking to stay in the division. Anything else like if we could finish mid-table would be a massive accomplishment. However, our first goal is being good enough to be there and compete.”