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.