Walden looking for a successful season
Saffron Walden will start their Ridgeons League First Division campaign with two home games. The Bloods entertain Great Yarmouth on the opening day (August 11), before welcoming Godmanchester Rovers to Catons Lane on the Wednesday night. They will start t
Saffron Walden will start their Ridgeons League First Division campaign with two home games.
The Bloods entertain Great Yarmouth on the opening day (August 11), before welcoming Godmanchester Rovers to Catons Lane on the Wednesday night.
They will start their FA Cup campaign on August 18 when they host Wootton Blue Cross in the Extra Preliminary Round.
Assistant boss John Butchart is looking forward to the new season and is confident his side can build on last season's sixth place.
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"It's nice to get three home games on the trot," he said. "Yarmouth won't look forward to coming here and we had some good crowds last year, so it's nice to have home games to get the support early.
"It's very important we get off to a good start as that sets the stall out for the season."
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Butchart is pleased with a home draw in the FA Cup and hopes his side can impress like they did last year, when they beat Harlow Town and took Hitchin to a penalty shoot-out.
"We played Wootton three years ago and lost 3-1 at home. They are a useful side and remind me of Eynesbury who we beat in the South Midlands Cup Final.
"They are workmanlike and a good outfit. We will have our work cut out, but we want to do as well as last year and we are confident we can do that. It's good to be at home and I hope a big crowd comes down to cheer us on."
Walden have a difficult run in to the season, visiting Debenham in the penultimate game, before hosting Diss Town on the final day (April 26).
"I expect us to be up there at the end," said Butchart. "Our aim last year was to get into the top six and do well in the cups and we did that and we will be looking to build on that this season.
"Witham will be strong as they have linked up with Ipswich Town and I think Ely City, Tiptree and Debenham will be up there, as well as Diss who are a big club and will be looking to bounce back as will Halstead.
"Last season promotion may have been a bit too soon for us, but I think we would be ready for it next season. Now we have seen the blue print we are looking to get into the Ridgeons Premier."
Walden will go into the new season with the same squad as last year with one or two new additions.
"The squad is getting bigger and we have had over 30 training which is good at this stage," said the assistant boss.
"We have retained all of last season's squad which is pleasing and there are a few new faces we are looking at in training.
"We want to make sure they are up to it before we sign them. We have players in all positions, but I won't say too much until we have signed them, as we don't want to alert other clubs."
Off the pitch, Catons Lane has been a busy place over the summer.
"We are trying to finish off the small stand behind the goal and we are confident that will be up and running by the start of the season," said Butchart.
"The pitch is looking good and it improves every year. Financially we are in the black as well and not many clubs can say that.
"We have also attracted a lot of sponsors and DAS are backing us again this season. They are local people who came along last year and really got into it.
"As a club we are in a very healthy position," added the assistant boss.
Walden are currently playing in house friendlies against feeder club Quendon, but will be completing their preparations for the new season with a home game against a Histon XI on August 1.
"I'm really looking forward to kick-off now and hope we can take it to the next stage next season," said Butchart.