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A chat with Jay at today's event

Matt chatting with Jay about the upcoming season

Matt Davison hosted a chat with Angels boss Jay Saunders at today's 'Meet the Players' event.

Matt: "Jay, it's your second season in charge of the club, how much are you looking forward to it compared to this time last year."

Jay: "Yeah, I’m really looking forward to it, obviously after a positive season I’m going to try and build on it. It was good to leave the season as we did with a win, we’ve brought some good players in to strengthen the squad so it’s exciting times."

Matt: "In terms of the squad, a few changes since last year. Are you happier with the squad you’ve got this year? Is it stronger than last year?"

Jay: "Yes, I feel it is. It’s no disrespect to anyone that’s left. I felt at times last year we lacked a little bit of experience, a bit of knowhow. If you look at the majority of players we’ve brought in, they’ve played at this level and above. I felt that was important and also we’ve got depth. You'll have seen in the friendly the other night, when we made changes, we didn’t look weaker. This year as the manager I’d rather have the headache of having to leave players out. Generally, there is positive signs, a long way to go, but you saw on Friday night what we’re trying to do, a lot more energy and a lot more legs which should help us to play a bit higher, press teams and go and play at a good tempo. I’m sure that if the boys buy into it, we’ll enjoy it."

Matt: "It was a record high finish last year in 9th. Can we better that this year?"

Jay: "Well, the goal always is to get promoted. I wouldn’t turn up; I wouldn’t do the job if it wasn’t. I’d stay at home. The boys know that. That’s the plan this season, we’ll try and push on. The league is tougher, without a doubt it’s tougher this year, but we’ve signed good players that can help us push on and make up that gap. We've got some new members of staff. Andy is our new goalkeeper coach, Jade is our new physio and Gary is stepping up as kit-man. So yeah, behind the scenes making additions and trying to improve, not just on the pitch, which is important."

Matt: "So we've got just four weeks to go until the start of the season, starting with Worthing away. What have we got between now and then? How are you going to use those last few friendlies?"

Jay: "Tomorrow [Stansfeld] will be a few trialists, academy lads and a few of the first team boys who need a few more minutes to get up to speed. Tuesday night [Charlton] we'll mix it about a little bit with minutes but then we'll start cutting it down and you won't see so many changes. We've got a nice weekend to look forward to in Scarborough and Hythe before that. The club have been great for Scarborough. We’re travelling on the Friday, staying in York and training there, then obviously playing Scarborough on Saturday which will be a good test and we travel back on the Sunday. It will be good for the boys to get together and we're looking forward to it."

Matt: "Just finally, have you got the squad you want now or will the be any more additions?"

Jay: "No probably not [any more additions]. You're always looking, but as you've seen with the signings, we'll take on players if they're the right player with the right quality and obviously if it works with the budget. I'm confident with where the squad is at and if we don't make additions, I'm not overly worried because I think we're looking good." 

Published Sunday 9th July 2023