2015-16 season preview: Holbeach United are up for challenge

Tom Roberts was beaten from the penalty spot as Holbeach lost 5-2 to Lincoln United. Photo: Steve Relf
Tom Roberts was beaten from the penalty spot as Holbeach lost 5-2 to Lincoln United. Photo: Steve Relf
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Darren Jarvis is expecting Holbeach United to be one of four teams challenging for the championship this season.

The Tigers boss believes the top half of the table will be “very competitive” in the ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League’s Premier Division.

Holbeach will kick off the campaign at Desborough Town on Saturday.

Jarvis said: “I think that a number of teams are capable of challenging for the top four and we are one of those.

“Then you have got another five or six sides who will make it really competitive.

“There are some of the usual candidates with the likes of Wisbech Town and Yaxley.

“I think AFC Kempston Rovers, Leicester Nirvana and Newport Pagnell Town are looking strong.

“Cogenhoe United and Deeping Rangers are always up there as well.

“But it would take a really brave prediction to say who will finish in the top four.

“We are definitely looking forward to the challenges this season.

“We are very pleased with our squad with a little bit of fine-tuning still to take place over the next week or so.

“Hopefully we will have another new face with us on Saturday.

“Overall we are happy but pre-season has been a mixed bag with some good performances and some indifferent ones. I’m sure the majority of other teams will say similar things, though.

“One or two players have shown outstanding form and we just need to keep pushing for more progress as a squad.”

Holbeach have signed Boston United youth-team product Louis Saebe on dual registration.

The Tigers had also been expected to bring in Pilgrims goalkeeper Sam Vince.

However, Jarvis admits that deal is “probably unlikely” as Vince looks set to play at a higher level.

Holbeach are hopeful of completing the transfer of former Stamford winger Louis Hamilton who featured in pre-season games.

Jarvis added: “That’s still in the balance but we are trying to make progress to suit him.”

Meanwhile, the opening game of the new season offers a chance for Jarvis to finally record his first away league win as Holbeach manager.

Since replacing joint-bosses John Chand and Graham Drury in March, the Tigers have drawn three times on the road and lost twice.

Jarvis accepts Saturday’s trip to Desborough is a tough test to end that run.

He said: “It’s an extremely difficult place to go to because they are a hard-working side.

“We will have to be at our best but if we perform we are capable of getting three points and I expect us to win.”

Assistant-manager Tom Roberts will play in goal with Ricky Drury and Ricky Lovelace both unavailable along with midfielder Ollie Pinner and striker Andrew Tidswell. Forward Tommy Treacher is ruled out through injury.

IN

Ricky Drury (GK, Pinchbeck United), Josh Ford (F, Wisbech Town), Andy Law (M, Moulton Harrox), Jamie Stevens (D, Spalding United), Tommy Treacher (F, Wisbech Town), Chris Ward (D, King’s Lynn Town), Lee Beeson (M, Spalding United), Jonny Clay (D, Peterborough Northern Star), Jake Clitheroe (M, King’s Lynn Town), Ollie Pinner (M, Boston Town), Tom Roberts (GK, Peterborough Northern Star), Danny Stevens (D, Louth Town), Louis Saebe (M, Boston United).

OUT

Jamie Clarke (F, Heanor Town), Craig Parker (D/M, Boston Town).

AUGUST

Saturday 8: Desborough Town (A)

Wednesday 12: Sleaford Town (H)

Saturday 15: Ely City - FA Cup (H)

Saturday 22: Northampton Spencer (H)

Wednesday 26: Harrowby United (H)

Saturday 29: Kirby Muxloe (A) or FA Cup – Wisbech / Diss (A)

SEPTEMBER

Tuesday 1: Boston Town (A)

Saturday 5: Oadby Town (H)

Saturday 12: Cogenhoe United (A) or FA Cup 1QR

Tuesday 15: Yaxley (A)

Saturday 19: Bugbrooke St Michaels - Knockout Cup (H)

Saturday 26: Leicester Nirvana (H)

Wednesday 30: Deeping Rangers (H)

OCTOBER

Saturday 3: Rothwell Corinthians (H)

Saturday 10: Eynesbury Rovers (A)

Wednesday 14: Harrowby United (A)

Saturday 17: Wellingborough Town (H)

Saturday 24: Peterborough Northern Star (A)

Wednesday 28: Sleaford Town (A)

Saturday 31: Desborough Town (H)

NOVEMBER

Saturday 7: Huntingdon Town (A)

Wednesday 11: Boston Town (H)

Saturday 14: AFC Kempston Rovers (A)

Saturday 21: FA Vase 2R

Saturday 28: Harborough Town (H)

DECEMBER

Saturday 5: Oadby Town (A)

Saturday 12: Newport Pagnell Town (A)

Saturday 19: Sileby Rangers (H)

Saturday 26: Wisbech Town (A)

Monday 28: Yaxley (H)