PRE SEASON PREVIEW: Newcastle Town (A)

The build-up to the new season continues with a trip to Staffordshire to meet with our old friends, Newcastle Town.

Many will still remember the Lyme Valley Stadium as the place where the new management team of Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley began their managerial career with a 5-0 thumping, but they seem to have done fairly well for themselves since then!

Last season Chris Willcock took the Rams down there in February and came away with a superb 6-0 victory (someone spoilt when Town came to Rammy a month later and gained revenge with a 2-1 win!).

Since then, as a result of boundary changes, the two teams will not meet for League fixtures this season, so this is a chance for two teams, which should be fairly evenly balanced, to contest a game ahead of the new campaign which begins in two week’s time.

There are still opportunities for one or two trialists to force their way into the squad reckoning, and they will be joined by those who have already signed on for the new campaign.

Whilst results are not that important at this stage (although the 2-2 draw against Premier Division side Nantwich Town on Tuesday showed that the Rams can handle a side from a division above), pre-season games are all about fitness, a squad knitting together and new tactics being tried out.

Already the supporters have seen much to be enthused about, so the Newcastle game is the first of three in the coming week before we can look forward to the real thing on the 17th.