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Jay's Friday Briefing

Friday Briefing

Jay speaks with Matt Davison prior to the season's opener at Worthing

Fourteen weeks since the last game of the season, the new campaign has arrived, and like last year we start with a trip to the seaside on the opening day.

Last year we started the season with a win at Weymouth.  This year it's a trip to Worthing for Jay Saunders and his side.

The manager said:  "I'm excited, I enjoyed the first few weeks of pre season but last week summed it up, you get to the point where you want the real stuff to start.  We've done all the prep we can and we just want to see it in action.

"I believe the first game of the season is hit and miss.  Teams go and lose heavily first day and have great seasons.  You have to have a few games to get a real feel, but if we have a positive start like we did last year, fantastic.

"Worthing are very good at home.  I've played against Adam's teams a lot, last season and the season before with Margate.  They always start well, they're strong at home, it's tough but looking at the league it's hard to pick out an easy game.  I think the league is stronger.  Last year we went to Weymouth, people said they'd be strong, they'd only just come down, and we went there and got a result."

It's the end of Jay's second pre-season with us, so how does he feel today compared to this time last year?  

"I feel more confident. I don't mean in relation to who we're playing. What I mean is the work we've done has been better, we had no facility last year, we were training at a school where we had to be off at a certain time and we couldn't have a shower, it all makes a difference, but this year we've been able to train at the ground, and have friendlies at home. But until it starts, you can't really tell how prepared you are."

Sadly already there are a few fitness issues, but as with most managers, Jay won't reveal the starting line up until just before the game.

He said: "We've got knocks and niggles.  I have in my head a team, Joe Boachie is definitely out, we're waiting for results of a scan on his knee.  We've got Ibby Akanbi in today.  Worthing know him well, he was there last year.  I tried to sign him last year, he scores goals at this level and with Stefan Payne a few weeks off full match fitness we needed someone in that area."

Published Friday 4th August 2023