"We have stayed loyal to the players who secured an historic record last season 2010/11 with only the addition of centre back Anthony Hunter. Anthony wanted to progress to a higher standard and although still recovering from a knee injury last season he is expected to be in the squad this weekend.
Reserve management team Andrew Atkins and Dan Turner have already recruited several new players and so far everyone has been hugely impressed with them; two of them may be included in the first team squad for Saturday. We are hoping these new recruits and the existing crop of youngsters will be pushing for first team football whilst gaining vital experience, hopefully pushing for honours, playing regularly in the Hope Valley League.
Bob Wood has as ever worked hard this summer and with all 16 teams training at different venues pre-season the senior pitch looks better than ever as does the junior pitch thanks to John Hind.
Given Whaley Bridge are not used to starting the season so early it will be imperative not to drop too many points in August if a realistic promotional push is to happen in our first season. We haven't played too many pre-season games but Scott Dignan has put the players through their paces in training. Pre-season games have comprised mainly a mix of 1st and reserve team players, last Thursday apart when the first team played a strong Holmesfield side obviously looking for a big scalp. Whaley however put in a terrific performance playing their usual cavalier and also by knocking the ball about to cruise to a 4-2 win albeit with many chances squandered.
Jon and myself have watched several Cheshire League games over the last two seasons and have not only been impressed by the facilities and the organisation but also with how teams retain possession and show a lot more patience than the more physical long ball HVFL we are used to. We won't restrain from our attacking style; with a selection of good goal scorers we will continue pushing to win games, always expecting to score more than we concede.
Mian Road Reserves have played quite a few pre-season games recruiting a large squad of over 40 players to choose from, some we expect will be playing Saturday with an eye to progress into their first team and we expect a tough game. With Moore Utd coming to Horwich Park on Wednesday, tipped by some for promotion, this ensures that WBAFC's first week in the Cheshire League won't be easy!"