Ely City season chances boosted as they return to action for first time since lockdown
- Credit: Archant
Ely City are bidding to find that team spirit once again as they aim to prepare for the new season in the best way possible.
The Robins will return to competitive action for the first time since March when they kick off their pre-season campaign behind closed doors against step seven outfit Comberton United at the Demcom Stadium tomorrow (6.45pm).
City have also penned four signings to the club. Defender Tom Williams returns from Lakenheath, former Histon full-back Sheldon Weinman has signed while wingers Jos Gwynn and Great Shelford forward Josh Townshend have arrived.
The team will have to continue without last season’s captain Ash Walter who has joined neighbours Soham Town Rangers, but joint-boss Luke McAvoy believes the players are still raring to go.
“It’s going to be weird playing behind closed doors, but I don’t think the players are too worried. I think they just want to play,” he said.
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“Josh is one of Shelford’s best players at that level, so we’re chuffed to get him signed.
“Although he had a month or two away, Tom’s been with Ely for a long time and he’s a good leader.
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“It was a hard decision for Ashley. It’s something he didn’t take lightly, but he wants to give it a go playing a step higher and it’s perhaps a fresh challenge.
“He knows the door is always open if he wants to come back, but it gives someone else a chance to step up.”
Five of Ely’s six August pre-season friendlies are at home, ranging from sides playing between step four and seven, and McAvoy is keen to build chemistry between his new additions early.
With a fifth signing in the pipeline, the team is confident they will have enough quality to be competitive in the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division from September.
“We wanted to find a good mixture of sides that play different styles of football,” McAvoy said.
“We’ve got good players in and we can get them to gel and form a good team spirit, we think we can be quite competitive.
“The biggest target is the group we’ve now got, we need to make sure that we form that togetherness, camaraderie and team spirit to take us into the season.”
ELY CITY PRE-SEASON FRIENDLIES
Tues 4 - Comberton United – 18:45 (H)
Sat 8 - Wisbech St Mary – 15:00 (A)
Sat 15 – Over Sports – 15:00 (H)
Tues 18 – UEA – 19:45 (H)
Sat 22 – Cambridge City – 15:00 (H)
Thurs 27 – Haverhill Borough – 19:45 (H)