Redditch United forward, Luke Keen, says he and his team-mates are “itching to get going” after emerging from a tough pre-season and looking forward to Saturday’s opening-day visit to AFC Rushden & Diamonds (3pm KO).
Keen joined The Reds in June and is one of many new faces in a squad that has been reshaped over pre-season by new manager, Paul Davis. Despite the number of additions and changes, the proven goalscorer believes the squad is ready for the new season:
“I think we are prepared as we can be. We have lot of new players and a very young team, which, inevitably, will take time to gel. The manager has given everyone minutes on the pitch, but with the intensity levels set to rise with points up for grabs, we have to make sure we are ready for the hard battle.”
AFC Rushden & Diamonds will be the setting for the first battle of the Evo-Stik South – Premier Division Central, and Keen is wary of a “very experienced side” but is excited at the prospect of facing a side that has been successful over several seasons:
“It is important that we get off to a positive start. Rushden have gained several promotions, achieved with the same core of players, some of whom I know from my spell with Daventry Town, so I know they are more than capable of competing at this level.
“Away fixtures at this level are always tough, and I expect no less against a physical side on Saturday, but we will do our level best to come from Rushden with a positive result.”
As for Keen himself, a proven scorer at this level, he admits that targets are always something he sets himself before the start of a season – and this campaign is no different: “In all honesty, as long we win, I don’t care who scores! It would be nice to reach 20, though.”
Supporters travelling to Hayden Road Sports Ground can pay on the day, with admissions priced as the following:
Concessions (over 60s, students and 8-15-year-olds): £7
Under 8s: Free
Parking in the immediate area of the ground is confined to on-street parking within residential areas. Alternatively, there is free parking in the town centre, leaving a short walk to the ground.
For more details, visit AFC Rushden & Diamonds’ stadium guide: https://bit.ly/2OJUyjv
Supporters can stay up-to-date with the latest news at The TRICO Stadium by either checking the website or social media channels: Twitter: @RedditchUtd or Facebook: Redditch United FC – Official.
Updated 09:04 - 8 Aug 2018 by Tom Henman