Southend Manor v Lopes Tavares – Cupids Country Club – Saturday 3pm – Preview
SOUTHEND MANOR assistant manager, Garry Pond, believes the Essex Senior League outfit have used the lockdown period positively and are in a good place ahead of Saturday’s opening pre-season friendly against Lopes Tavares at Cupids Country Club.
Manor, like every other club across the country, has been forced to use a different path in preparation for the new campaign. Nevertheless, Pond has been hugely encouraged with what he has seen as the Southchurch Park club look for an upturn in fortunes.
“We have put the players through their paces over the last few weeks and we cannot fault the lad’s effort and commitment it has been excellent,” the former Rochford Town man told Yellow Sport.
“As I said before, recruitment has been top of the agenda for the management team. We have made some good signings with hopefully, a few more to be announced soon. We know we need this Southend Manor group to be much better than the last couple of seasons and we believe the squad we are building will lead us to a higher league position this year.
“I think finishing near to the bottom over the last two seasons its quite easy for people to predict us to finish there again but we are determined to start climbing the league table.”
With warm-up games now in place, Pond urged his squad to stake a claim for Manors’ first competitive fixture, scheduled for just over a month: “We face a very good Lopes Tavares outfit, followed by local rivals Leigh Town the week after.
“It’s looking like our first competitive game could be the Emirates FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round on September 1. I know the lads can’t wait to get started and will be out to show us why they should be part of that squad.
“I know from a personal view its great to be back and I’m looking forward to being back in the dugout again on Saturday.”