Enter the Hawks Nest as we head onto our maiden National League voyage!!
Manager’s office: Chippenham Town
The Hawks kick-off their Vanarama National League South season on Saturday as the Hawks face Chippenham Town at Hardenhuish Park, whom themselves celebrated promotion as they ran away with the Southern Premier League last term.
We caught up with manager Lee Bradbury after last Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Moneyfields in the last friendly of 2017. I started of by asking him about his expectations for the new season which he replied:
“We would like to come in the top half, now it’s down to 7th I’d like to push for the play-offs, whether it’s realistic or not will remain to be seen. Not seen the Conference South last year but one of favourites in Ebbsfleet getting out of it and Maidenhead. People will look at it and say it’s an open league this year and it probably will be but there’s always surprises, always teams with more investment, so if we can come top half and around the play-offs that would be a decent season for us after just being promoted but me being me I want to be in the play-offs.”
Then I asked about the game between the Ryman and Southern League champions at Hardenhuish Park on Saturday:
“I’d rather it be at home, at the end of the day we got to go home and away all the time. We have a tough start, the first 6/7 games are against teams that are fancied to be there or thereabouts with the likes of Dartford, Chelmsford with Hampton and Richmond etc. We have got some good teams to play, but we have got to play them all at some point. After 6/8 games we will see roughly where we are.”
Lee was then asked about the preparations for the game:
“We trained Monday, looked at the DVD and see where we can improve and work on that through training this week. And when we’re not in, watch some games, get out and about and prepare ourselves for Saturday. We look forward to it, I’m not really a big fan of pre-season and I don’t like the game being honest, but it’s needed to get the lads sharp and fit and to leave them mentally and physically in the right frame of mind and I think we’re nearing that now and come Saturday we will be 100%.”