WOODFORD United have signed a number of key players to strengthen their squad ahead of the new season.
And the Reds are also pinning hopes on a crop of emerging youth players who are setting their sights on getting regular places in the first team line-up.
Manager Phil Mason and his assistant Jamie Wright have been working flat out as usual over the summer.
The Byfield Road-based club had five of their players departing along the short road to Daventry.
But the management team have consolidated their squad with new signings to address any obvious gaps in the team structure.
The aim was to focus their efforts on bringing in a mixture of experience and youth.
Players joining the Reds are: Jamie Brassington, goalkeeper (Bedworth); Brad Piercewright, defender (Hinckley Utd); Lee Colkin, midfield (ex-Northampton Town); Tom Liversedge, forward (Wellingborough); Damon Herbert defender (Bugbrooke); Josh Crawley, forward (Stony Stratford).
A good number of players have also remained loyal to the club from last season.
These include Tom Fountain, Dan Burke, Glen Hawkins, Chris Jackson, Lewis Travers and an exciting crop of youth players will see the squad taking shape nicely.
Manager Phil Mason said: “Pre-season preparations have gone well and we can’t wait for the season to start.
“Staying away from the relegation zone is again the priority, we have no illusions of play-offs but as usual will be working hard, ensuring that youth are given an opportunity to develop.”
Woodford United entertained Coalville from The Northern Premier League on Saturday in a friendly clash.
A tough game was expected as Coalville had scored six goals in their previous three friendlies.
With many lads not available, Phil and Jamie turned to the youth and they performed admirably.
The first-half was a stalemate but the best chance fell to Woodford’s Dan Stewart who found himself one-on-one but failed to net as he fired at the keeper from 12 yards to give a stalemate 0-0 at half-time.
The game opened up in the seveond-half as both teams went for the win playing good football.
Coalville opened the scoring after 60 minutes when a ball was not cleared and the goal came from close range. The home defence was claiming offside and it looked like they might have had a good case.
Coalville made it 2-0 after 72 minutes when a slip from Harris allowed the Coalville forward to slide the ball under the advancing Wooodford keeper.
Woodford made it 2-1 after 78 minutes from the spot when a dangerous free kick was put into the Coalville box and the 16-year-old Woodford centre back Ben Oddy was pushed as he rose.
As both teams battle to the whistle Woodford squandered the best chance, as another one on one went begging and the final score was 1-2.