It is a long time since I have known a forthcoming season talked about so much, with the pre season friendlies getting under way in earnest and the FA Cup fixtures leaving our excited fans with a great deal to look forward to in the coming weeks.
After a poor start to their pre season run, with a 3-1 defeat away at Retford United, Sheffield FC took on a Sheffield Wednesday Youth XI at the Coach and Horses last Thursday and manager Mick Wadsworth showed the fans just why he is excited with his young squad as they won in convincing style, 4-2.
Three stunning goals by Fereday, Purkiss and Cardwell, and a penalty by Roney, was fair reward for a great showing in which all the squad had a part to play. They did so with the Owls also playing well, in front of a 300-plus crowd.
Wadsworth was delighted with his teams showing:“The youngsters played well and the extra pace in the side, plus no little skill, was evidence of a good season ahead,” he said.
“But I will not get carried away with one showing”.
Club may have lost a few players, including last season’s skipper Steve Woolley, but the signs are very encouraging indeed.
Players signings is another thing that is causing much talk, with new manager Chris Hilton at Stocksbridge Park bringing in a pair of keepers including Liam Flynn from Goole AFC and Sam Andrews from Shirebrook Town to replace the retired Ben Scott and Jack Ward who decided to move on. Last season’s midfield player James Knowles has re-signed for the club and things are moving on nicely, whilst former skipper Brett Lovell has signed for Maltby Main
Handsworth Parramores may have lost a trio of good players but manager Rus Eagle is already busy in the transfer market as ex Blades player Alan Quinn signs for the Sandy Lane club. Vill Powell moves in from Sheffield F.C., midfielder Wayne Burrell signs from Worksop Town and Nick Travis returns after a spell playing in Australia.
Staveleys new manager James Colliver is also keen to get started as Jordan Eagers, Nathan Swindells and star keeper Steve Hernandez all sign from Handsworth Parramores. They are joined by Jack Watts from Ilkeston, Craig Fisher from Retford United, Austin McIntosh from Mansfield Town and Henry Sibenge from Mickleover Sports, whilst nine of last seasons squad including Ryan, Trench and Thorpe have all resigned for the club.
Another big talking point is the F.A. Cup Extra Preliminary Round which all gets under way on Friday August 15th when a record crowd is expected at Inkersall Road for Staveleys big “Derby” clash with Worksop Town. On Saturday Parkgate are at home to Congleton Town and Handsworth Parramores have a home date with Leicester based Oadby Town. It is also rumoured that A.F.C. Emleys home tie against Ashton Athletic may be played on the Sunday giving our fans a great hat trick of ties to look forward in the space of three days.
Pre season friendlies coming up include, Stocksbridge Park versus Sheffield United tomorrow evening, Handsworth Parramore versus Worksop Town on Saturday and Hallam versus Sheffield United on Monday.