With the new season about to start I thought I would update everyone with the events at Guildford City over the course of the summer. Firstly Steve Dormer came on board to join Martin and I as an assistant manager. Steve was formerly with AFC Wimbledon Under 18’s, and he had involvement at Camberley Town last season. Steve, like myself, is very passionate to succeed and his enthusiasm and knowledge of the game is excellent. He also has good contacts in the non-league game which is always useful. He has settled in well and I’m looking forward to working with him. In the last week or so Martin Dynan has stepped down as assistant as he wants to concentrate just on playing. I’d like to thank him for all his efforts since joining the club both on and off the pitch. He has been a real asset to the club and he is now a good friend of mine. Martin will still have a responsible role however as he is club captain, with Darryl Siaw as vice-captain. We have also welcomed Danny Young as coach. Danny’s sessions have been excellent and the lads have been impressed. He works for Crystal Palace full time and so all the sessions coming straight off a Premiership training ground. Danny’s enthusiasm has been excellent since coming in. He asked me what style I like to play and he has drilled that into the lads with sessions to suit. Danny’s work commitments mean that when Palace are playing he is not able to be around. But we have him for training evenings and some match days. We also have a new therapist Sue Wilkie on board. She is experienced and very knowledgeable and a good person to have around the place.
On the players front we have, for one reason or another, only kept five players from last season’s squad. The lads staying on-board are Martin Dynan, Harry Mills, Matty Anton, Darryl Siaw and Tom Booth. This means that we welcome a number of new recruits. For the goalkeeping role we did sign Craig Bradshaw but due to an ongoing injury to his back, and his own uncertainty, we opted to go elsewhere and signed Kieron Campbell from South Park. We wish Craig all the best at Hartley Wintney for whom he has signed subsequently. Dave Hill has been great since coming in as goalkeeper coach and back-up keeper. Dave in fact has played most of the pre-season games and has been invaluable behind the scenes. In defence we welcome Jake Downs from Carshalton Athletic, Alex Penfold from Whyteleafe, Greg Haydon from Dorking Wanderers, Andre Paul from Aveley and young Charlie Bussetti from Three Bridges. In midfield we welcome Bobby Dormer from Camberley Town, Jordan Johnson who was previously at Walton Casuals , Shaun Clement-Peter and Spencer Forte who has stepped out of the professional game, and Kiye Martin who joins us from Leatherhead. Up front our new faces are Perry Coles from Camberley Town, Matt Glass from Farnham Town, Ibby Akanbi from Aveley, Tom Bingham from Three Bridges and our veteran Shaun Lydon who has stepped back out of local football but formerly was a prolific goalscorer at Godalming Town.
It’s been a very busy summer preparing for the season. The boys have worked hard on and off the pitch, the management team have been extremely busy preparing and building for what we believe will be a side ready to compete up the right end of the table. The new lads have bonded very well and the dressing room has been very good. I thrive on team spirit and togetherness and the lads have all bought into that which is brilliant.
On Saturday we are away to Mile Oak in the FA Cup on the Sussex coast. It is a game the lads are relishing. The following week we are away in league action at newly promoted Abbey Rangers who are a very good side, and will have plenty of confidence.
Thank you to all the committee and supporters who have been to all the games in pre-season. We look forward to seeing you when we start for real as your support is very much appreciated by all of us. Thank you also to my favourite photographer Burgy whose pictures we all enjoy seeing.
There is a coach running to Mile Oak on Saturday 6 August for City supporters wishing to get to the game. The coach departs the Spectrum at 11.30am and the fare is £10 adults and £7 concessions. Please reserve your place by ringing Eddie Russell on 07740 104100.