Bexhill United manager Ryan Light says there’s a real buzz around the football club on the eve of the new season.
The Pirates will kick-off their 2018/19 Southern Combination League Division One campaign this coming Saturday) in positive mood following some eye-catching summer signings and encouraging pre-season results.
Light said: “There’s a real buzz around the club and the mentality has changed completely. It’s really positive and everyone’s really excited about the squad they can see being assembled.”
Bexhill have brought in prolific striker Danny Leach from Hailsham Town, skilful creative player Allan McMinigal from Westfield, former Hastings United youngster Jordan Harley and midfielder Jamie Bunn, who helped Langney Wanderers finish runners-up in the same division last term.
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“I’m delighted with the squad,” he continued. “If those two come in, that will take the number to 20 and that’s the number I wanted.
“That (scoring goals) was the main issue we had to address and we should’ve addressed it with the signing of proven goalscorers like Danny Leach.
“We know we need to score goals and we’ve tweaked the system as well. We’ve also had the emergence of Terry Robinson-Wickenden, who really has played well through pre-season - that’s been a nice surprise for us.
“Allan McMinigal will add something offensively on the right or left or as a (number) 10. We’re really pleased to have Allan on board and he adds to our attacking options.”
Bexhill, who have lost only Corey Wheeler to local football, finished seventh last term having come 10th the previous year and Light is eager to continue the upward trend in his third season at the helm.
“The goal has got to be to improve again,” he went on. “And with the squad we’ve got, there’s really no reason why we shouldn’t improve our league record dramatically. I think there’s six teams that can win the league and we’re one of those.
“(AFC) Varndeanians are going to be strong, the teams that have come down (Littlehampton Town and Worthing United) you’ve got to be wary of, Southwick will dramatically improve and Hailsham will be there or thereabouts.
“Hopefully we can be in the mix, but we just want to improve on what we did last year. It does help keeping the core of the squad together.”
Bexhill will get underway by making their first ever trip to an Alfold side which has come up from Division Two.
“It’s their first game in senior football so it’s an historic day for them,” Light added. “We’ve got to match their motivation and stamp our quality on the game. If we do that, I’m sure we’ll get off to a good start.”
Bexhill’s final pre-season friendly, away to Jarvis Brook last weekend, was cancelled by the opposition due to player unavailability.
In fact, their last two scheduled warm-up matches didn’t go ahead, although Bexhill did win the three fixtures that were played.
“We’ve had a good pre-season,” said Light. “The games we did play, we’ve been excellent. We’ve looked quite sharp and performed really well.
“The training sessions have been really sharp. The players are young and fit so we’ve not had to do too much fitness work; we’ve worked on our shape, patterns and process. It’s been good.”
Bexhill should be close to full strength on Saturday, although Leach has a two-game suspension carried over from last season.
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