New look Stansted off to a flying start

PUBLISHED: 16:48 19 July 2007 | UPDATED: 21:45 29 May 2010

Marcus Nicolls (blue), pictured in action last year, has left the Airportmen – Pic: Sarah Lucy Brown

Marcus Nicolls (blue), pictured in action last year, has left the Airportmen - Pic: Sarah Lucy Brown

Terry Spillane s new look Stansted side got off to a great start on Saturday when both the first team and reserves ran out deserved victors against Broxbourne Borough in their first pre-season friendly games. The first team defeated Broxbourne 1-0 with a

Terry Spillane's new look Stansted side got off to a great start on Saturday when both the first team and reserves ran out deserved victors against Broxbourne Borough in their first pre-season friendly games.

The first team defeated Broxbourne 1-0 with a goal from new signing Mark Jones, with a young reserve side impressing in their 3-1 victory.

"It's the first time both sides have won on the same day for a long time, which was very pleasing," said Spillane.

"The result is important although it doesn't count for anything and it was great to start the season with two victories. We played well against a good side that did really well last year and I'm well pleased."

"The reserves consisted of mainly 17 and 18-year-olds and completely outplayed them. We have some good lads there that could come in and do a job for the first team when needed and I wouldn't have any problem with putting them in if required."

The manager has named Michael Palmieri as his new captain ahead of the new season. The 22-year-old centre half played for Spillane's former club Frenford last year and the boss feels he will be a great asset to the Hargrave Park club.

"He played a few games at the end of last year for us, but was still playing at Frenford," said Spillane.

"I'm pleased he has come with me as he is a good head to have around the place. He is strong, determined, very vocal, a good organiser and reads the game really well."

Palmieri is likely to be partnered at the back by new signing 23-year-old Tony Barnes.

"He is a 6ft 5in centre half who has played for Basildon and Bowers," said the boss.

"He has experience in the league and is a player that wants to prove himself at this level. I've been looking to get him for a while as he is a very strong player."

Marcus Nicolls has been released by the club with Saturday's goal scorer Jones taking his place up front.

"He is an 18-year-old that I had at Frenford," said Spillane. "He is hungry, lighting quick and can possibly be the answer to our goal-scoring problems.

"He is a more than adequate replacement for Nicolls and if he progresses as well as he has been, there's no reason he shouldn't get 10/15 goals a season."

The manager is hopeful several more players will put pen to paper in the coming weeks.

Twenty-three-year-old midfielder Bradley Walsh is one such player Spillane is keen to have on board.

"He used to be at Sawbridgeworth and Barking and I'm hoping he will sign as he is a very good player, comfortable on the ball and very skillful," he said.

The Airportmen could find themselves with an embarrassment of riches in the goalkeeping department.

"Ashley Harris played the second game and looked good on Saturday," said Spillane. "He played for Enfield Town last year and we are expecting him to sign.

"We have another keeper,

Matt Cope, who has a few hundred Ryman League games under his belt coming down, as well as Ashley Boyce coming back in September, and Danny Fenn currently playing for the first team, so we have good competition for places."

Spillane is pleased with the squad he has assembled so far ahead of the league season which kicks off on August 11.

"I can't wait for the start of season," he said. "I'm confident we are going to be at least half way and that is the target I've set the players.

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