Newark Town boss says lessons have been learnt through competitive pre-season run
Luke Parsons says his Newark Town team have shown the desire and character he was looking for during a gruelling pre-season run stacked with fixtures against higher-ranked clubs.
The Blues, who play in the Central Midlands League North Division, remained unbeaten throughout pre-season and rounded off their campaign with a 5-4 win at Ashland Rovers.
“We got dragged down to their level, but it was a learning curve and probably the game we learnt the most from in the whole of pre-season,” said Parsons.
“Although we played some lovely stuff in the last game (against Rainworth Miners’ Welfare) we have shown that we can dig deep when things aren’t going our away.
“It was by far the best football we have played since I have been at the club and, if you look at last week, we managed to play our best game and our worst game, so it has been a good learning curve.
“There were more negatives to take from the Saturday and you tend to learn a lot more about your lads in those sorts of games.
“We are going into the season confident with a big buzz around the place, even with what happened last season when it was made null and void.
“We have a squad that is mostly the same, apart from four or five few new additions who fit the mould and have shown that in pre-season.
“We aren’t worried about anyone else. We want to worry about our own game and play to the best of our abilities.
“It is up to us to adapt to each situation and each game as they come.”
Clay Cross Town, a strong step seven team, have been added to Town’s league having moved from the South division to the North division.
Parsons highlighted Clay Cross as a team who would push Town all the way.
“I was expecting it,” he said. “It makes our task a lot harder because we know how good they are.
“It is going to be even harder than last year, but it is better for the league and makes it more competitive.
“From the step six teams we have played in pre-season — winning six and drawing two — we have proved we are a good team and are up for it. It is unfortunate that only one team gets to go up because there are so many good clubs.”
Town begin their season in Rotherham against AFC Phoenix on Saturday, before hosting Renishaw on Wednesday evening (7.45pm).
League rivals Collingham travel to AFC Bentley and will play away for their first three matches while their Station Road ground undergoes pitch maintenance.
Their first home game is on September 30 against Thorne Colliery.