After two training sessions new Rainworth manager Julian Watts says he has already seen enough to be positive about the Wrens’ first season back in the Toolstation NCEL.
Watts believes that on the early evidence he and assistant manager Ady Smith have unearthed a couple of gems, and while the club’s policy is not to release the identities of any new players until after they are signed and registered, he is bursting with optimism about the new campaign.
And he is setting his stall out to whet the appetites of the local fans by showing what his new side can do when they take on a strong Mansfield Town side on Saturday, 4th July.
Speaking after Tuesday night’s training session, Watts rated progress to date as ‘so far so good’, and said: “Ady and I came away from the first session on Saturday more optimistic than ever.
“We got a new group of players together, some we know well and some are new to us, and we got a pleasant surprise. With three or four new players who we know are coming in but are currently on holiday we’re pretty sure we’ll have what it takes to do well in the division.
“The Premier Division looks very competitive again. Although we were in Division One with Shirebrook last season I still managed to watch a lot of Premier Division games, and from what I have seen the squad we are putting together will be more than capable of doing well.
“We’re not in the business of making rash promises about winning titles, but I want to see us go out and play the kind of football I know we can play, be competitive, and see how things shape out.”
Watts insists that the forthcoming Stags game, which will be the first friendly for both clubs, won’t faze the Wrens’ players, but says the match will answer a lot of early questions. He added: “We know their players will be physically sharper and fitter than we are, but we will play to our own strength.
“It’s their first match too so they will be looking to prove a point, and in the face of that it will be good to see how well we can dig in, how well we can keep our own shape, how well we challenge for the ball and work for each other, and how well we keep the ball against better players.
“Apart from one player we’ve pretty much got a good idea of where we are squad-wise, and we’ll adopt a formation which suits the players we have - there’s no point in doggedly sticking to a formation which doesn’t do that, and we’ll come out of the Stags game knowing exactly what we need to do as we move towards the start of the season proper.
“I’m really looking forward to a positive season,” he ended.