Terrors set for big kick-off
Tooting & Mitcham begin the new Ryman Premier League season on Saturday and manager Mark Beard is feeling quietly confident.
The Terrors have looked good in pre-season, their latest result a 1-0 win over Croydon Athletic on Saturday where Billy Dunn scored the winner, having kept most of the squad from last season.
Beard has added defensive muscle to shore up a leaky backline and believes his mix of youngsters and experience could spring a surprise.
“We conceded 90 per cent of our goals from set-pieces last season so wanted to improve on our defence,” he said.
“We now have four defenders who are above 6.5ft so hopefully they have an input in tightening up the defence.
“We have to stop conceding silly goals and in pre-season we have looked very solid at the back.
“The goalkeeper, Simon Leckyl, has come and done brilliantly and we changed formation a little bit to three centre-backs and two wing-backs and it is a formation that suits us.
“The players are super fit and their attitudes spot on and if you have that you have half a chance.”
The Terrors open up by hosting East Thurrock United, promoted to the Premier League after winning Ryman Division One North last season, and Beard acknowledges the visitors will be riding the crest of a wave.
“They will have momentum from last season,” he said.
“They also have a couple of good players, including the best centre forward in the league in Sam Higgins.
“But we just have to do what we have been doing in pre-season.
“I feel much better than I did this time last year, when it took me unitl March to have a proper side.”
Players in: Lee Newman, Simon Leckyl, Jordan Anderson, Ben Palmer, Callum Donaghey, Billy Dunn.
Players out: Jamie Butler, Billy Crook, Michael Noone, Stefan Cox.
Position last year: 13th. “Considering our budget, it wasn't too bad,” said Beard.
We say: Top half finish. They have one of the lowest budgets in the division but when fielding their strongest 11 are a test for anyone in the league.
Beard says: “To try to push on from last season and better ourselves. We don't want to be where we were last season so anything higher will be a good season.”
Comments are closed on this article.