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March Town's Ashley Taylor and Wisbech Town's Leon Mettam gear up for 2022/23 United Counties League campaigns

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March Town and Wisbech Town are raring to go as the 2022/23 campaign gets ready to kick off – but the clubs have set very different targets.

The Hares are aiming high in what will be their debut campaign in the United Counties League Premier Division South, with manager Ashley Taylor delighted at the squad he has assembled during a busy summer.

Meanwhile, new Fenmen boss Leon Mettam admits a slow start could be on the cards as he bids to lead a young first team through a period of transition in the UCL Premier Division North.

March boss Ashley Taylor and Wisbech manager Leon Mettam
March boss Ashley Taylor and Wisbech manager Leon Mettam

March travel to Bugbrooke St Michaels this Saturday for their opening fixture, before hosting Eynesbury Rovers next Tuesday in their first home clash.

Wisbech welcome AFC Mansfield at the weekend, and then make the trip to Pinchbeck United a week today (August 3).

Taylor, who signed young goalkeeper Jonah Gill on Monday to stand in for the injured Charlie Congreve, wants his side to prove they aren’t around to make up the numbers – and he has targeted an opening day victory.

Hares boss Ashley Taylor wants a strong season
Hares boss Ashley Taylor wants a strong season

“We want to aim as high as we can possibly aim,” he told the Citizen.

“That’s the mindset and the mentality that I want my management team, the club and the players to have. Why not try to do the best we can and finish as high as we can?

“Where that is remains to be seen, but we want to be ambitious. We want to compete at the very top if we can. In reality, there will be a slight transition with getting used to different teams and a different style of play.

“We want three points (on Saturday). That’s the mentality, we want to have a good start.

Leon Mettam has set realistic targets ahead of the new campaign
Leon Mettam has set realistic targets ahead of the new campaign

“It’s going to be a tough game, but we’re looking forward to it. We’re taking a coach with players and supporters, so we’ll have a good amount of support at the game.”

Mettam has struggled with recruitment at Wisbech so far, and expects he will have to wait until a few weeks into the season before adding the players he’d like.

In the meantime, having only had one training session and two matches so far, he is managing expectations ahead of their Mansfield opener on Saturday.

“It’s not going to be easy, but the lads that I have seen are willing to run through brick walls for me at the minute,” he said.

“It won’t be for a want of trying. It’s not a quick fix – I think from what you can see over the last 18 months or two years, it’s been a steady decline unfortunately for Wisbech.

“It might be a slow start. I wouldn’t want to put unnecessary pressure on myself to come out swinging.”

However, Mettam did add that he is ‘optimistic’ ahead of the season opener.

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