We’re nearly at the end of June already, the players have returned to training and the season is creeping up on me. It wasn’t until someone asked which pre-season friendlies I would be watching that I realised Town are to travel to Supermarine and Banbury next week, already!
I can’t be the only one who gets a little lost at this point in the football calendar as essential the rhythm of watching Town and checking the tables doesn’t start until August. Players come and go too quickly for me to notice; goodness knows who will be in the starting XI on the 3rd August against Peterborough United.
Finally the squad is taking some shape. Paul Caddis has returned, Gary Roberts and Alan McCormack have departed, Wes signed a contract extension and finally we have some new signings as we welcome Alex Smith and Jack Barthram.
These two newbies are big sign of the new transfer strategy and budgetary constraints. Here come two players released without making a mark at their Premier League parent clubs, but hopefully hungry and talented enough to impress in League One.
I must admit I know little about either player. All I can tell you is that one is a defender and the other is a midfielder, also Alex Smith was once signed by my virtual self in Football Manager, but I couldn’t tell you whether he lived up to my scout’s recommendation or not. Seriously, that little information is all I have at my disposal…
In previous years I’ve filled pre-season with various views from supporters of the clubs from whom we’ve signed players. Instead this summer I’m making a conscious effort to avoid all articles outlining the strengths and weaknesses of our new signings and will be watching them in the flesh, letting it all unravel and hopefully I’ll be impressed, or not as the case may be.
I appreciate this isn’t an excellent strategy to inform readers here, particularly those overseas, but I’m approaching this season with an open mind and less expectations on all players. Perhaps a sign of the changing and challenging times at the County Ground.
See you at Supermarine next week…
Supermarine vs Swindon Town 7.30KO – Admission prices Adults £10 | Concessions (OAPS & Children 12-16) £5 | Children U11 FREE* (*must be accompanied by an adult) ALL PAY ON THE NIGHT (NO PRE-MATCH TICKETS ON SALE)