Chairman Bright and Matthews to take charge at Chatteris

March Town Res. v Chatteris Town Res action'Steve Bright'www.fenlandcitizen.co.uk/buyaphoto
March Town Res. v Chatteris Town Res action'Steve Bright'www.fenlandcitizen.co.uk/buyaphoto

CHATTERIS Town chairman Steve Bright (pictured) and former reserves boss Leigh Matthews are to take control of the club’s first team this season.

The Lilies were left without a manager when Ozzie Mintus quit at the end of last month without taking charge of a game.

That was not the only setback for the club as five of the first team squad have also quit the West Street club to join local rivals March Town including club skipper Stu Porter.

Bright said this week: “With the start of the season just over a week away it was important things were sorted out quickly and to bring some consistency Leigh Matthews and myself will run the first team this season.

“Things are starting to look a little better for the club now. We have 34 players signed on and, with some on holiday and others still to speak to, I think we will be fine to run three teams. It did look at one stage as though we might have to drop the A team.

“Colin Smith will run the reserves and Clayton Payne will take charge of the A team with Julian Young helping him when available.

“It will be a struggle to start with and a first game against champions Linton Granta will not help, but hopefully things will improve as the season gets underway.”

It had been hoped that promising young player Tom Moden would be back in action, but his shoulder injury is requiring further treatment and it could be another month before he is ready.

Chatteris open their Cambs Premier Division campaign with a home game against Linton Granta next Tuesday night at West Street (7.45).

Wisbech St Mary will be in action on the same night making their debut in the Premier Division at home to Lakenheath.

Manager Arran Duke has lost defender Ben Russell who has joined his father at Leverington, but has however retained the rest of the squad that won promotion from Senior A last season despite interest in players from March Town and Peterborough Northern Star.

He said: “It will be a new experience for us but we are looking forward to it and I think we will be competitive this season.

“We have strengthened the squad and have brought in Curtis Knight from Leverington and Simon Bates from Coates. We also hope to sign striker Mark Newton from Coates later this week.”

Wimblington are home to Wisbech Town Reserves in their opening fixture of the season in Senior A next Wednesday night (6.15).

On the same night Outwell Swifts travel to Littleport Res in Senior B.

Parson Drove entertain Whittlesey Utd in the Peterborough Premier on Saturday. Next Tuesday Drove face Whittlesey BS and Leverington are at home to Whittlesey Utd.

The rest of the Cambs League teams begin their season on September 1.