Ely City boss Brady Stone hopes for fixture resolution

Ely City Fc v Stowmarket Town, Manager Brady Stone,

Ely City Fc v Stowmarket Town, Manager Brady Stone, - Credit: Archant

Ely City boss Brady Stone is hoping a fixture shake-up won’t harm his sides chances of Thurlow Nunn Premier Division glory.

The former Robins defender guided Ely back to the league’s flagship division last season after finishing in second place, but the date of their first fixture has been thrown up in the air after the league announced the season is to start a week earlier than planned.

Stone’s men have a hectic pre-season schedule lined up throughout July, but may have to cancel their final match if they are made to play their opening game of the season on Saturday July 30, rather than the following weekend.

The Robins boss is looking to find a resolution sooner rather than later, and hopes his squad can get as much playing time in as possible before their first league game.

He said: “From what I understand, all the teams in the league have been given the choice to play their first game on the Saturday, or the Tuesday after (August 2).

“We’ll probably look to play on the Tuesday, because we’ve got a friendly with Peterborough Sports on the Saturday (30), and that will be a good game.

“It would be nice to get an extra game in, but if we can’t then we’ll just go with that the league says.”

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Ely have six pre-season fixtures lined up, including an exciting tie against Norwich City’s under 21s on Tuesday July 12 at the Unwin Ground (7.45pm).

“The Norwich game is going to be massive,” Stone said.

“Hopefully they’ll bring some of their up-and-coming players down and it’ll be a good game for the supporters.

“Not only will it be great for the players, but it will be great for the club and will hopefully bring in a big gate.”

Stone also says he is looking for new recruits after securing the futures of his promotion-clinching squad.

All 16 of last season’s squad re-signed at a club meeting on Tuesday night, and Stone is hoping to add to his young side.

“We’ll look to bring two or three more players in,” he said. “But what we don’t want to do is change things too much.

“We want to keep the same squad together and do as well as we can in the Premier Division.”