Hitchings believes Slimbridge are getting better by the game following Forest Green test


Slimbridge defender Charlie Hitchings says his side are getting even better with each new test following their 1-1 draw with Forest Green Rovers on Monday, writes Sam Yapp.

The Swans held Rovers, of the National League, to an entertaining draw in their third pre-season fixture which saw an attendance of 576 at Thornhill Park.

Jacob Maddox’s first half Rovers’ goal was cancelled out in the second half by Jarmani Langlais in a performance that Hitchings believed they could all be proud off.

“I thought it was a great game and a good workout for us. We were very happy to see that they brought their first team.

“It was good for the young lads to get the chance to play against some big names around the National League and Football League.

“We gave a really good account of ourselves, weathered a few storms and moved the ball very nicely even though that the majority of possession was with them. Just overall a really good performance,” he said

The central defender has featured in all three of the Swans pre-season clashes playing near enough a full 90 minutes in all of them.

After starting pre-season with a defeat to Bishop’s Cleeve the Swans are now unbeaten in their last two outings following a win over Dursley Town and the draw over Steve Cotterill’s side which Hitchings says has seen his side get stronger with each game.

“Playing Bishop’s Cleeve was a surprise fixture and possibly too early but in the end it was a really good test for us leading into a great fixture against Dursley.

“We have been getting better as the games have gone on, building relationships with some new faces so overall we’re really happy with it,” he said.

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Hitchings also believes that his and the teams performances can be put down to the support and belief shown by co-managers Tom Deakin and Adam Coyle tracing back to last season.

“I really enjoyed last season and I get on really well with the management because they have a lot of faith in what I can do,” he said.

The Swans still have five pre-season matches to complete in the build-up to the 2024/25 Hellenic League Premier season.

Back-to-back home fixtures against Hungerford Town and Weston-Super-Mare await the Swans in the next week, before away trips to Stoke Gifford and Dartmouth.

But Hitchings has already started laying down what he wants to achieve next season with the club and on a personal level.

“I want to hit another milestone of games for the club after playing around 52 games for the club last campaign so would be nice to get between 40-50 this time around. It’s something I pride myself on wanting to play as many games as I can.

“We have a couple of new faces around the club and lost a few but I think we have a really competitive squad.

“Our aim as a team and club is too get out of this league whether that’s through the playoffs or up near the top.

“We have to push on this season after setting some solid foundations last campaign, so we want to be up there challenging,” he said.

Slimbridge continue their pre-season preparation on Saturday, July 13th as they host Southern League South side, Hungerford Town at Thornhill Park with kick off at 3pm.

Cover photo taken by and copyright to Brian Rossiter. Check out his Flickr account for all of his pictures by clicking here

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