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The big kick off: Generals open new season away v Redditch

Tuesday 26th July

This Saturday 6th August the 1st XI raise the curtain on the 2016/17 Evo-Stik Southern Premier League campaign with an away match versus Redditch Utd, KO 15:00. Last season our hosts finished equal with third placed Hitchin Town on 84 points, but but secured the runners up spot courtesy of a superior goal difference.

In matches between the two sides last season Chesham won 3-0 at The Meadow in October with a goal from Brad Wadkins and a brace from Dave Pearce. In the return fixture at Redditch Chesham looked to be heading for a draw until conceding an 87th minute penalty which gave the points to the home side.

NB that the venue is Stratford Town FC. With work on the new 3G surface at Redditch's ground still not completed the game has been moved to the DCS Stadium at Stratford, Knights Lane, Tiddington, Stratford-upon Avon CV37 7BZ. 

There is a coach for the DCS Stadium departing The Meadow at 11.15am. If you wish to travel please confirm with Brian McCarthy on 01442 871750 or email brian_mccarthy@ntlworld.com Fare £15 for Supporters Trust members / £20 for non-members. Info for supporters travelling independently is available from Stratford Town's website  here

 

andy leeseAndy Leese commented ahead of Saturday's kick off:

"We finished our pre season work last night looking sharp and ready to roll. We will not have everyone available tomorrow with suspensions hanging over from last season, and injury. It is frustrating after the work we have put in to the last few weeks, but we have the squad to cover it. Redditch had a great season last time out finishing runners up, and with a new management team and some new players I expect a testing afternoon. We need to be composed and disciplined on what is always a frantic game on any opening day of a season. We are looking forward to it, the players are in good shape and they know the expectations for the season. Tomorrow won't define that, but as always it will be good to get off to a positive start.

"I am delighted to announce we have signed Ashlee Jones as our first choice GK. Ash, 29, has played in the last 3 friendlies for us, and we have now agreed terms for him to stay. He is a highly rated keeper with experience in the professional game. He has been outstanding in the last 2 seasons at Lowestoft and Leiston and we have had to work hard to get Ash to commit. He is a commanding presence, distributes the ball well and is an excellent communicator. I am sure Ash will make a huge contribution to our defensive game this season. Please welcome Ash to the club when you get the chance. Ash will be backed up by Matt Nolan who is developing his game really well under the guidance of Dave Sandiford our GK coach

The squad is complete now with Ashlee's signature, and the full squad is detailed on the website. We are currently missing Nick Beasant who has a recurrence of a knee injury he sustained at the end of last season. He is having a scan today to try and diagnose the issue, but I don’t expect we will see Nick in action for a few weeks. We have a couple of other injury issues but I expect they will be good for tomorrow. Brad Wadkins is making a steady recovery under Kim's guidance. It is a case of so far so good which is great news for us and Brad. We need to get him back playing games, but his excellent fitness levels mean he has come back in good shape. I expect Brad to figure for us this week.

As you know Dave Fotheringham and Laurie Stewart remain sidelined with long term injuries, and both need surgery. It is a huge call for both of them with the time off work, family, and then lengthy rehabilitation required with no guarantee of full fitness at the end.

We have some potentially good young players in the club again in the reserve set up, and some Academy players developing quickly. We will need depth in quality and numbers as the season in the Southern premier league is relentless.

Looking forward to a good start for both senior teams tomorrow!."

A.L.

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