RIDGEONS League football is the target for Chatteris Town as they begin the new season under the guidance of former Wisbech Town manager Steve Taylor.
This is Taylor’s second spell at the club and he certainly has the experience to guide them back into the Ridgeons League.
Taylor has a good soccer cv and when he was given the job earlier this summer pledged to bring experienced players to strengthen a very good young side. He has been as good as his word with a trio of signings who have already shown their worth.
Striker Jake Burton has arrived from Godmanchester and scored four goals in the defeats of St Ives and Wisbech St Mary and has a good record for goalscoring at his previous clubs.
Taylor is particularly pleased to have signed defender Tony Brown from Ely City.
“Several clubs have been chasing Tony but he played for me before at Ely so I am very happy to have him on board.”
Former Whittlesford player Hugh Steward completes the trio and another bonus is that Jonny Brierley is to stay with Chatteris after it was looking like he would be moving on.
Taylor said: “We have a good squad now and have played very well to beat UCL Premier side St Ives 2-1 and then Wisbech St Mary 5-0. I came back to the club because I felt everything was right to take them back to the Ridgeons League and the target is a top three position, so that can happen.”
l Wisbech St Mary have their first taste of the Cambs League Senior A Division and manager Aaron Duke has made sure his side is prepared with five new signings.
Wayne Morton and goalkeeper Sam Kilby have arrived from Parson Drove, while defender Ben Russell has joined from Leverington, Dan Fysh from Wisbech Town and another goalkeeper Tommy Goode is back after a spell out of the game.
Saints clinched the Senior B title last season but Duke believes a second successive promotion may be just beyond them this season.
He commented: “We have signed some good players and not lost anyone really I was worried about losing, but I think this season is a matter of consolidating and see how things go. Then perhaps next season we can start thinking about promotion.”
The fixture many local soccer fans are looking forward to this season are the clashes between Saints and Wisbech Town Reserves for the first time in a league meeting but Duke was quick to play down the games.
He added: “We will be treating every game the same. Wisbech Town are playing at the same level as us now and so it is just another game.”
Duke’s side have already shown good form pre-season with a 3-3 draw with Pinchbeck, but last Tuesday they had a reality check when losing 5-0 at Chatteris.
It was a real struggle for Wimblington in their first season in Senior A but manager Dean Stacy is confident that his side will be more of a force this season.
He has recruited ex-March and Leverington striker Paul Shafer, left winger James Clarke, another former Drove player, and James Boxall who was at March Rangers.
Stacy said: “We have looked a sharper side this pre-season and we have more competition for places this time too. We have also got a change in attitudes and I am sure we can improve on last season. I am also speaking to two more possible new signings as well.
“We have a tough start with Wisbech St Mary and Wisbech Town in our first two games.”
Wisbech Town Reserves boss Darren Edey lost up to nine players in the summer but still remains upbeat about his side’s chances in Senior A.
In the first half of last season they looked real title candidates but folded tamely after Christmas although they did win the William Cockell Cup.
Edey has been busy signing replacements and so far has brought back Richard Harnwell, Ricky Speechley, a former Deeping and Whittlesey midfielder, Dale Martin from Ramsey, and Kyle Butler, another full back from Ramsey. Josh Chatters, a former Posh youngster, is also joining.
He said: “I have already got a decent squad and hopefully can bring in a couple more players before the season starts. I think we have more strength in depth this time and I will have to see who drops down from the first team squad.
“I am hoping to bring in another experienced striker and I’d like to think we could be competing in the top five again but the real success is the number of young players we bring through for the first team. Ollie Gale and Sam Murphy have shown they are capable of the step up this season and perhaps Sam Cubberley and Adam Drew can follow in their footsteps.”