Blues start life in Conference South as Truro City visit New Lodge
Edwards makes additions to his squad
Billericay Town make history on Saturday when they welcome Truro City to New Lodge for their first ever league game in the Blue Square Bet Conference South.
The Blues arrival in the league comes courtesy of their Ryman League title winning campaign and Boss Craig Edwards is hopeful of maintaining the momentum that his side built throughout last season.
‘We built up some great momentum last season and will definitely have the same fantastic spirit among the squad. We go into the first game as strong as we can and will look to get off to a good start and get some points on the board early on’ said Edwards. ‘The majority of our squad have played at this level and above so we have some great experience’
The Blues have played seven friendlies in the run up to the new campaign and this has given Edwards the opportunity to tinker with his championship winning squad.
‘I’ve been really pleased with the midfield during the friendlies. Pooley and Harrison have both been excellent and Sam Lechmere has been as good as anyone else. The front players have also been excellent and I’m really excited about them’
‘I’ve now made my final decisions on the squad of 18 I will be taking into the new season’ said the Blues boss. ‘I’ve released Sam Berry, Emeka Onwubiko and the majority of trialists I looked at during those games. I’m also going to send Billy Radley and Courtney White out on loan to get some further experience’
‘But I’m really pleased with the signings I’ve made to replace them. I’ve managed to bring two strikers in who I am chuffed to add to the squad. Tunde Adewunmi joins us after playing for Ebbsfleet last season. We’ve also signed Alex Osborn who was at Dagenham last year. Both of them will be great additions and will really push for a starting place with Jay May and Jared Small’
‘My last signing is Luke L’Anson who is a central midfielder who played at Dover and Thurrock last season. As ever, we are always on the lookout for players and trying to unearth a little diamond and I’m really hopeful that we have one of those in the signings we have made’
Edwards preparations have once again been complicated going into a new season by a host of injuries. ‘They are not serious injuries like we had at this time last year, just niggles and minor knocks’
‘Dale Brightly and Chris Wild trained on Tuesday evening and look to have recovered from a stomach bug and Nathan Green should be Ok after last Saturday’s run out.’
‘My main concerns are over Rob Swaine, Dave Collis and Sam Lechmere. We’ll have to assess them on Saturday morning to see if they are fit enough to start the game’
Two players who will definitely be missing are midfielders Craig Edwards and Junior Luke who look likely to spend the next few weeks on the sidelines with injury. ‘Due to the size of the squad we need to be lucky with injuries as there isn’t much cover. But, we are a strong side and will be really difficult to beat’ said Edwards.
Truro City have had a meteoric rise through the non league pyramid over the last few years and finished in 14th place in last season’s Conference South. They have however had a turbulent summer and it seemed at many points that they would not be in existence for the start of the season.
Edwards is excited as all at the club as the Blues embark on a new campaign in a new league with many making predictions of Blues toughest opponents.
‘I think it is going to be a very even league this year and won’t have anyone like Woking running away with it again. Dover and Chelmsford will be as strong as ever and Eastleigh and Welling have both made lots of signings. I don’t know much about the West Country teams, but I’m told that Bath are really strong this season too’ said Edwards.
Kick off is at 15.00
Admission is £12 for adults, £7 for concessions and £3 for under 16’s (£1 BTSA Junior members).