Reid hoping a tough pre-season will benefit Fairford in new campaign


Fairford Town Manager Jamie Reid praised his side’s performance as they kicked off a testing pre-season at Gloucester City on Saturday.

Reid’s side returned to action for the first time since the end of March with a spirited 4-3 defeat against the Southern Premier side and following the game Reid was pleased with how his players applied themselves during the game.

“For a first friendly, I don’t think it will get much tougher for our boys to be honest – although Tuesday night’s game at home to Swindon Supermarine will be another massive test,” said Reid.

“Gloucester have quality all over the pitch, and they controlled the game for large parts, as expected, but I was impressed with how we worked through it.

We tried to remain disciplined and actually scored a very well taken goal through young Ollie Bradbury, who could’ve added a second in truth.

“We’ve tried to work on a new system in the early part of this pre-season, so lots of things are new to the players and apart from one or two teething issues, we’ve been chuffed with the attitude and application shown by the group.

As management staff, we can have ideas and set up accordingly in training sessions but it’s up to the lads to buy into it and implement things to make it work,” Reid added.

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Fairford’s squad included new signings Luke Hitchman and Henry Birkett – who have moved to Cinder Lane from Longlevens and Tuffley Rovers respectively.

Hitchman started and played for over an hour, whilst Birkett was set to play the second half, but felt a tweak in the warm up so sat out.

With the news of the recruits announced the morning of the game, Reid spoke about the state of his squad at this stage.

“Hitch [Hitchman] has been excellent since coming to the club. His experience will be invaluable – he’s no nonsense and his personality is something we’ve been lacking, so it can only be a positive signing for Fairford moving forwards,” said Reid.

“I’ve known Henry for a long time now and I’ve worked with him before. Being honest, it’s been difficult because we’re very friendly with Neil Mustoe and everyone at Tuffley, but when we spoke and he made it clear it was something he wanted to do, again it was a no brainer for us.

Henry’s been getting himself in really good shape and I feel he’s getting better and more mature all the time and I’m really excited to see him and us progressing this season.

I’m very happy with our squad at the moment, though. We wanted to retain as many players from last season as we possibly could, with three or four new signings and that’s two in the building, so I’m hoping we’ll be able to get a couple more in over the next couple of weeks,” added Reid.

Fairford’s pre-season continues on Tuesday night, when Swindon Supermarine visit Cinder Lane, before games against Didcot Town and Kidlington next week.

The conclude their pre-season with trips to Brockworth Albion and Risca Utd, before they return to competitive football at the end of July.

Ahead of Tuesday night’s game, Reid admits his side will face another early test.

“It’s always tough in pre season, with players away on holiday, a few niggly injuries etc – so we are a bit light with the visit of Swindon Supermarine, but it’s another game we’re really looking forward to.

It’s all good preparation for when the competitive stuff starts in less than a months time, though, so by continuing to work hard we should be ready come the start of the season,” said Reid.

Fairford Town host Swindon Supermarine at Cinder Lane on Tuesday 9 July in their next pre-season friendly.

Cover photo taken by and copyright to Neil Phelps. Check out his Flickr account for all of his Gloucester City pictures by clicking here

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