After a pre-season period where training started on 16 June, and nine friendlies have been played, Guildford City now move up to the Combined Counties start line, with the competition proper starting on Saturday. City start the season by visiting old rivals Chertsey Town at Alwyns Lane, kick-off at 3pm. In the final weeks of last season support for Guildford City was second to none and it would be good to see the season kick-off with a large travelling support at Chertsey.
Manager Don Chislett’s squad consists of the majority of the side that successfully avoided relegation at the end of last season. Only Kris Campbell who has signed for Ryman Premier side Dulwich Hamlet, and Jordan Taylor, joining the RAF, has departed. Amongst the newcomers Don has introduced valuable experience to a young squad in the form of Matt York and Andy Ottley. Defender or midfield player York has featured for a number of clubs in a long career including AFC Wimbledon, Carshalton Athletic and Tooting & Mitcham. Meanwhile playmaker Ottley returns to the game after a spell out, but has previous experience at Basingstoke Town and Horsham YMCA and he and Matt York will be major assets this season. In addition last season’s young strikers Anthony Baker and Dan Stewart are back in tandem and City fans will be looking forward to seeing them renew their exciting partnership.
On the way back from the Hailsham friendly, interviewer Ian Plested spoke with Guildford City supporter Derek Tucker about Guildford’s preseason and the big game on Saturday at Cherstey Town. You can listen to the interview here.
On Tuesday evening City played out their final match of the pre-season period winning 3-2 at CCL Division One club Cobham. The home club looked lively and were 2-0 up at the interval and they will be a good bet to challenge for Division One honours this season. City had chances in the first period but just couldn’t force the ball into the net. After the break City tightened up defensively and took the game to the host side. It began to look as if fortune in front of goal wasn’t with City, but finally on 58 minutes Anthony Baker advanced through on goal to shoot home, and minutes later Dan Stewart rounded the home keeper to slide the ball home for the equaliser. The winner came during a period of domination on 73 minutes when young Athan Smith-Joseph escaped the defence’s attention down the left for him to cut in and shoot home from an acute angle.
City’s manager Donovan Chislett spoke to interviewer Ian Plested about the 2nd half comeback and the first game away to Cherstey on Saturday afternoon, you can listen to the interview here.