Crosbie believes in his new-look Hares

March v Wisbech football match action' Paul Crosbie
March v Wisbech football match action' Paul Crosbie

MARCH Town’s new manager Paul Crosbie has not enjoyed the best of pre-seasons but still believes his new look squad will be competitive for the opening Thurlow Nunn League Division One game of the season at Debenham on Saturday.

He has been left with just two players from last season’s first team, defender Adam Sutton and striker Stu Anderson, but remains confident he has the nucleus of a very good squad.

Tony Brown footballer

Tony Brown footballer

He said: “It has been a disjointed preseason and not gone as I would have liked as we have looked to build up the squad. Results have not gone our way but at the same time we have been unable to field the same squad for any of the games with holidays and unavailabilities. However we have shown in the games that we can play even in the heavy defeat by Wisbech.

“I will be looking for big performances in our opening games especially with three home games in the first month. We need to win the fans over by showing what we are about especially in the first home game against Newmarket next Tuesday night. The results will then take care of themselves.

“We have to build up the players’ self belief and get them playing as a unit. We have two long journeys in the mini bus on the first two Saturdays to Debenham and then Wellingborough in the FA Cup so hopefully we can build up some bonding then too.”

Crosbie is also keen to set up a link with a club playing at a much higher level this week that will see promising young players loaned to March.

He said: “The club is keen to loan out younger players to a club who play football the right way. They have heard good things about us and I will be meeting with their chairman and manager this week.

“It may come too late for the Debenham game but hopefully we can work something out for the games that follow.”

To hamper Crosbie’s plans he has injury doubts over key defender Sutton (ankle ligaments) and Sam Darlow (hamstring) who picked up injuries in the 1-0 defeat at Thorney last week.

“Both players are having physio this week. They were due to miss the Sleaford game on Tuesday and I am not confident that they will both play at Debenham.

“I do not want to risk them on Saturday for the sake of one game and then they miss four or five games when we have the whole season ahead of us.”

Crosbie is also hoping former Ely City and Chatteris defender Tony Brown will commit to March. He scored in the win over Long Sutton but has since been on holiday.

“He has had offers from other clubs including Newmarket. I would like to have him on board with his experience but if does not then we will move on. I am sure other players at other clubs will become available over the first month of the season and I will continue to look to improve the squad.”

But Crosbie has picked up four other of Brown’s colleagues from Chatteris with Stu Porter, Aaron Bailey and Aidan Hollis and goalkeeper Ben Collet committed to the cause.

March fans may have to be patient in the opening weeks of the season as the team settles in but players have been impressed with Crosbie’s techniques and given time there is sure to be big improvement.