After the premature end to the 2019-2020 season, boss Saqib Sher unveiled his plans ahead of the new campaign, which have begun in earnest with small-sided sessions at Stoke Rec.
With COVID-19 bringing sport across the globe to a halt in March, the appetite to return to competitive action is strong among a squad that hasn’t been together since the 4-1 home win over AFC Westend Reserves three months ago.
But Sher, set for his first full season in charge, is already planning for whatever might lie ahead.
‘We’ve already started sessions with a limited number of players, and they’ve gone down really well. It’s taken a bit of creative thinking in terms of devising sessions which create competition, but the lads have responded superbly.’
‘All of the work we are doing now will allow us to hit the ground running when pre-season officially kicks in later this month. Obviously we are hoping there’ll be an update in terms of the numbers we can accommodate in a session fairly season, but for now we’ll keep working within the current guidelines.’
Sher is taking inspiration from coaches across the game to keep sessions varied, challenging and game-related, taking numerous sessions across three different days every week.
And, with wider lockdown measures easing from this weekend, the ex-Woking Tigers, Shalford and Hersham supremo is hoping to see more of his group within the coming weeks.
‘We’ve been planning pre-season for some time now and as soon as we receive more clarity on the government’s position, we’ll be full steam ahead.
‘When the season was stopped in March, we were in such a good place. Confidence was high, our training and match play was at an intensity not seen at this club for some time and we really felt we would have been right in among the honours come May.
‘Sometimes in life, however, you can’t control what goes on around you and we’ve re-grouped and we’re ready to make sure next year is a year to remember.’
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