Selsey slipping into gear for new campaign

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Selsey’s pre-season preparations are going well according to boss Ian Martin, who says the aim at the High Street Ground this season is to build on last year.

The core of last season’s squad has stayed on and Martin has confirmed new faces are being brought in.

He is looking forward to the start of the new campaign and said: “We know the goals we’ve set ourselves and we’re always looking forward to the next step as opposed to pondering and looking behind us.

“That’s our aim – to do better in the league than we did last year and go further in the cups.

“We know the areas we need to work on and I think we’ve improved. The signs are good at the moment.

“A week or two away from the start of the season, there’s room for improvement fitness-wise and you’re always going to want the players to be that bit fitter, that bit sharper no matter what level they’re at, but things are looking good.”

So far the side have faced pre-season competition from Sidlesham, Locks Heath, Bosham, Lymington and AFC Portchester and face Bognor at the High Street Ground tonight and Corinthian Casuals in a first-team/reserves double-header from 2pm on Saturday, also at home.

Martin said: “We’re well under way – we have had a few games and have a few more coming up.

“They’ve been good run-arounds – things have looked very positive. I like the way we’ve played and I like the way the players have taken to a new system.

“Our style of play will hopefully encourage us to finish slightly higher up the league so the two go hand in hand.

Though he wouldn’t be drawn on names, Martin said: “There’s some really good players coming in. We’ve kept our main players from last season and added to what we’ve got.”

The league season begins when Selsey face Hassocks on August 13.

The John O’Hara League Cup draw has also been kind to Selsey, with Ian Martin’s side being given a bye to the second round where they will face division-two side Midhurst & Easebourne.

Both Pagham and Chichester City have first-round ties to deal with – against Eastbourne United AFC and Little Common – but the local sides could face each other in the third and fourth rounds.

MARK ALLAWAY