05:41PM, Thursday 02 August 2018
As Windsor prepare for their opening league match of the campaign on Saturday, concerned manager Mick Woodham says his squad ‘feels a bit skinny on experience’ and that August could be a challenging month.
The Royalists are away to Brimscombe & Thrupp at the weekend before welcoming Shrivenham to Stag Meadow on Tuesday, and Woodham admits that his side will be enthusiastic but may be ‘too youthful’ are the moment.
“It’s tough one to start, away to Brimscombe, and we have a few players out suspended and unavailable,” he said.
“It’s not an easy place to go against a side which will be around the top four this season, but I would rather go there in August than January.
““We will feel a bit skinny on the experience side of things, but we’ll try to make up for that.”
A month ago it seemed as if Woodham had washed his hands of the club, resigning because of the immediate workload on and off the pitch, but his unexpected return to the helm two weeks later has stabilised the club.
However, with experienced players missing, Woodham warned that the next month could provide a steep learning curve.
“August could be a sticky patch for us as we look to gel the squad and get everyone back,” he said.
“We need to ride it out and be see where we are at the end of it.
“It will be a tough test, but with players like Paul Coyne and Ashley Smith to come back in, we will get stronger, but the next month is crucial.
“I’m not being defeatist, just honest.”
He added: “I think the top teams will be the ones which finished behind those who were promoted: so you don't have to look any further than Flackwell Heath, Wantage, Binfield and Brimscombe. But we know when we have everyone available we can do well.
“We took three points from Wantage, six from Binfield and two from Brimscombe last year.”
Windsor face Shrivenham in the Hellenic League Premier Division on Tuesday in a match Woodham admitted he had barely considered.
He said: “Shrivenham have come up, so it’s difficult to know what they’ll be like.
“What I can tell you is that the pitch will be in great order – it looks good – and we will have three or more experienced players back for that one. It would be nice to start with a win at home.”
Ryan Dearden, Jeevan Panesar, Daniel Taylor and Daniel Roberts.have been added to this season’s squad, with the creative Jack Denton the most high profile departure.
The much-needed experience will be provided by Barry Hayles, Kieran Knight, Luke Brooks-Smith, Ashley Smith and Coyne.
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