This Saturday sees the Blues embark on another league campaign when they travel to Spa Road to face Witham Town in the season opener. Supporters will be hoping for a similar result to Blues previous encounter at the Village Glass Stadium when they ran out 4-1 winners, Kieran Bishop netting a brace, and one apiece from Ryan Mahal and Jamie Slabber with ex Blue Correy Davidson replying for Town from the penalty spot. Interestingly only five of the current squad featured on that day illustrating the changes in Blues personnel during the close season.
Both clubs have had a busy close season programme,Witham wining four with two draws and two defeats from their eight fixtures against mainly Essex Senior and Thurlow league opposition, Blues winning three with five defeats from their eight fixtures against League, National League, and Bostik League opposition. It must be said though that friendlies are rarely a guide to form going into a league campaign and are used primarily to hone fitness and patterns of play etc.
Witham will have a new man at the helm with ex Heybridge Swifts assistant manager Mark Ashford in the dug out, he will be keen to get off to a good start this weekend. At the time of writing there is no information regarding new signings or departures from the Witham squad.
Manager Jamie Stuart has had a busy close season with no less than ten new faces at Parkside namely Goalkeepers Lloyd Anderson and Anthony Page, the return of centre back Perry Dunne,midfielders Jack Curtis,Mitchel Hahn, Aaron Gordon, and strikers Billy Jones,Michael Mignot,Usman Adeniji and Shomari Barnwell. Aaron Gordon judging by his early season form could well become a fans favourite with his direct and pacy running on the right flank which was missing from Blues play last season and with club legend Joao Carlos operating down the left it gives the side good balance and pace going forward. Michael Mignot steps up from the Essex Senior League where he proved a prolific goalscorer last term and will be eager to continue that form. With Billy, Usman and Shomari vying for a place up front Blues certainly have attacking options .
So the stage is set for another season of what we hope will be many highs and fewer lows starting with a win on Saturday to cheer Blues loyal away support..