NEEDHAM Market are building up to the new Ryman League Division One North season with the emphasis more firmly on training than pre-season games.
Following their 3-1 victory over a Colchester United development side on Tuesday, Needham finish off pre-seaon with home games against Lowestoft Town on Tuesday, and East Thurrock on Saturday week, both teams from the Ryman Premier. The league season starts on August 18.
Manager Danny Laws said he was happy with just six pre-season games.
“With a smaller squad you don’t want to risk injuries, and players also take holidays. So we have spent more time in training,” he said.
“I have a very coachable group of players, who are a pleasure to work with, and their work-rate has been top drawer.
“Their fitness showed on Tuesday night when we spent a lot of time without the ball.”
Laws praised fixture secretary Paul Collier. “He has done an excellent job in arranging some great games, which have been good preparation for us,” said Laws. “I am very happy with the sequence of friendlies.”
Sam Newson, who had been due to go on trial at Gillingham last season, but missed out through injury, is likely to be a target again this season. Newson scored a hat-trick against Colchester.
“When strikers score goals they attract attention,” said Laws. “He’s part of a team that performed well.
“Sam’s a good lad who enjoys playing for us and is happy to be here developing his game.”
Former Bury Town/Team Bury striker Ryan Clark continues his trial period with Needham, but fellow triallists Josh Curry (ex-Bury/Team Bury) and Matt Cripps (ex-FC Clacton) have left.
Former skipper Rhys Barber, who left the club after failing to agree terms, has joined Felixstowe and Walton United, and was due to sign dual registration forms with former club Bury Town last night.
Also joining Felixstowe is Lewis Pemberton, who was on dual registration with Needham and Woodbridge Town last season.