Having won all three pre-season games so far I welcomed the opportunity to get straight back into the action a few days later with a short trip up to Butlin Road to play Rugby Town.
The quality of opposition to date had – at best – been questionable. However with the team becoming more familiar with my high pressing/short passing tactic, and with a clean sheet in our last game, I’d convinced myself we were already fast becoming invincible. If I could take this pre-season form into the full season we’d surely walk it, wouldn’t we?
I wonder if any one has ever gone a whole season undefeated in the Vanarama North?
With two new signings up my sleeve I headed up to Wolverhampton for my first away friendly against Midland Football League giants AFC Wulfrunians.
The intimidating Castlecroft Stadium would prove to be a good test of nerve for my relatively young squad with 40-odd hardcore Wulf fans dotted around the terraces.
With a desperately unconvincing victory against the Stourport Swifts under my belt, and with my glamorous Chief Scout Patrick worryingly unable to identify any prospective signings, it was with some trepidation that I headed into an encounter with similarly low-level opposition in Bromsgrove Sporting.
As a ‘home game double header’ (we were sharing the Victoria Ground with our local rivals this season) I was expecting an impressive turnout for Tuesday night’s game and with 223 spectators cramming into the terraces I was not disappointed. In fact it was downright intimidating.
With the majority of my time at the club to date spent on establishing an elite backroom made up of former professionals brimming with domestic and European experience, today’s friendly against local rivals Stourport Swifts gave me a great opportunity to better understand what I had to play with this season.
I have to admit I was impressed with what I had seen from our few sessions together.
Over the coming days Brede’s appointment was confirmed, much to the surprise of our local media who were as shocked as I was that someone of his status would be willing to join my City revolution.
Buoyed by his addition I moved quickly to plug the other two outstanding gaps in my backroom team.
On reflection, perhaps getting rid of John so soon after my appointment wasn’t the best decision.
Not only is my Chairman now visibly miffed at my ruthless treatment of someone he obviously cared for, but more importantly it’s left me with quite a gap in my backroom set up.
‘Second portable cabin on the left after the Mint Lounge. Door will be open.’
Folding the offer letter back into my pocket I paused for a moment as the grim reality of the situation hit me like the distinctive aromas stinging my nostrils as I made my approach along the Birmingham Road. I cursed my ignorance. Despite the club finding a temporary home in the north of the county, I had naively expected to remain based in Worcester which suited my loathe of commuting. As it is, I now face a daily 29 mile round trip to a plastic shed in Bromsgrove and I’m starting to doubt whether my request for an antique mahogany desk at the interview was taken seriously.