Jim Davis writes
Daventry Town have lost just two of the six pre-season games so far this season scoring a total of thirteen goals and conceding ten, four of those games were away from Communications Park, where the playing surface is looking in excellent condition after the major work which has taken place in the summer.
The improved playing surface should help the team to play attractive football and fewer games having to be postponed come the harsh weather of late Winter, a contributing factor two seasons ago when Town were forced to play three of four games in a week due to postponements.
This Saturday Daventry Town open their season with a much anticipated home game against last seasons - play off finalists Beaconsfield Town, who were narrowly beaten in the final at Bedworth by 3-1, no mean achievement considering the same club had finished rock bottom of the Central League just twelve months earlier.
Beaconsfield Town are fourth favourites to win the Central League this coming season, rather surprisingly alongside Daventry Town, who finished a disappointing sixteenth. Having retained most of last season`s squad of players, I would expect Beaconsfield to once again figure in the play- off places alongside neighbours Slough Town who will start as favourites to gain automatic promotion after losing in their last two season`s play – off matches.
It will be a new Daventry team that kicks off the season against Beaconsfield, only one of the players who featured in the last home game against Ashford in April is likely to take part. With Centre Back Marcel Simpson still on holiday, that player is Scott Cross who came on as a substitute that day.
A number of new players have been recruited by former Daventry United boss Darran Foster, former Northampton Town midfielder Matt Gearing is a nippy and quick footed midfielder, striker Mykel Beckley has arrived from Stratford Town FC, Midfielder Paul Dempsey has also signed from Brackley Town and will also help out with a coaching role. Central Defender Guy Sanders who was with Barwell last season has been given the captains armband for the season. A total of twelve new players have joined the Town complementing those in the squad who have remained from last season.
Daventry Town have seen a number of changes taking place on and off the field over the summer, supporters will be hoping the town can make a serious challenge for automatic promotion or more realistically make the play-offs places. Darran Foster has assembled a good squad of players over the summer, a mixture of experience and youth which should see them compete a lot better in the league than the forty three players that wore the purple shirt of Daventry town last season.
Town supporters will hope Foster can get a settled team very early in the season, the first match against Beaconsfield followed by games against Leighton Buzzard away and a lucrative home match against promotion hopefuls and near neighbours Rugby Town on the late Bank Holiday Monday will be good indicators as to whether Daventry town can seriously expect to challenge the title favourites this season.
There will be a lot of exciting football played down at Communications Park this coming season , grass roots football is stronger than it has ever been so if you like your football but don’t want to pay out Premiership prices get down to the Park this season and support your local town side push for promotion.