Bedworth start off their Pitching In Northern Premier League Midlands Division campaign against one of last seasons beaten playoff semi finalists Stamford.
Bedworth have been handed on paper a very difficult start to the season having to play 3 of last seasons 4 playoff semi finalists in August. Stamford finished the season 3 points behind league winners Ilkeston with a superior goal difference but just missed out on promotion through the playoffs when they were beaten in the playoffs by 5th place and eventual promoted Belper Town 2-1 at Stamfords Zeeco Stadium.
Stamford finished the season with a record of won 26 drew 6 and lost 6 ending the season on a 9 game unbeaten run until that playoff defeat. Having managed to keep the majority of last seasons squad and with the additions of Conor Furey from Corby Town and last seasons captain from Carlton Tom Maddison they will be looking to replicate last seasons success and go one better.
Last season The Greenbacks struggled against Stamford being on the end of a 4-1 defeat away and a 3 nil loss here at The OVAL. Stuart Storer though is going into this season with a much changed squad from last with the additions of 7 new faces and 3 graduates from the U21 the team that will start Saturday will be much changed from the one that ended last season and saw The Greenbacks eventually finish mid table.
First Team Coach Jamie Lenton commented “It was good to get off to a winning start last week in a competitive game and to have avoided a potential banana skin but we know that the real work starts this week against Stamford. Last season Stamford were a big strong physical team and with the minimal changes in their squad for this year I cant imagine it will be any different. Having played against Graham’s teams in the past we know that they will be well organised and up for the challenge, We have recruited well through the summer and through pre season we have worked the lads hard and the new players have integrated themselves into the squad very quickly, we have a very good spine that we have built around and this makes the competition for places in the starting 11 extremely competitive no-one is guaranteed a start so performances have to be top drawer to keep that shirt. Its always good to start the season with a fully fit squad and thanks to physio Sarah Lissaman that is the position we are in with everyone fit Our decision as a coaching team as to starting 11 is difficult but it is a nice problem to have. Both clubs have the same desire to reach step 3 and sustain this level of football so it should be a good game and hard fought season for both teams”