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Holbeach United start their new Thurlow Nunn League campaign

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Joint manager Danny Clifton feels his Holbeach United side are in a good place ahead of the start of the Thurlow Nunn League campaign on Saturday.

The Tigers get their Division One North season underway with a home match against Needham Market Under 23s at Carter's Park as they look to put the memories of last term well and truly behind them.

Holbeach finished bottom of the United Counties League Premier Division North table after a winless campaign ended in relegation.

Danny Clifton and Simon Roberts. Photo: Chris Lowndes (58442853)
Danny Clifton and Simon Roberts. Photo: Chris Lowndes (58442853)

Clifton was appointed as their third manager of last season in mid-December and is relishing the fresh start and new league challenges ahead.

He has been joined at the helm this season by Simon Roberts and an early start to their pre-season programme has stood the Tigers in good stead for the new campaign.

Clifton said: "We are all looking forward to it and we have such a successful pre-season. Everything has gone really well.

"It has put everyone in a good place, not just the first team but the reserves and Sports sides as well.

"We started training very early because we needed to rebuild and the benefit from that has been incredible.

"I can't under-estimate how well the summer has gone. We have built a first team squad of 20 players who have been there since day one.

"It has allowed us to build a pattern of what we want the players to do. We have a model for the football club and, part of that, is how we want the boys to play.

"They have adjusted to it so quickly and our results in pre-season have purely been down to the fact of the model we set out."

The Tigers have recorded pre-season successes over Bourne Town, Deeping Rangers and Crowland Town while also sharing the spoils with a Yaxley side who play two levels above Holbeach.

Their only reversal came at March Town who scored two late goals to run out 3-2 winners against the Tigers who have brought in several new faces for the coming campaign.

Ben Calvert has arrived from league rivals Parson Drove along with Moulton Harrox duo Callum Davies and Ainsley Johnson.

John Yambasu has been recruited from Peterborough North End while brothers Finlay and Harvey Henderson have moved from Netherton with Adrian Bilicz making the switch from Wisbech St Mary.

They will complement the players retained from last season as well as those who have worked their way through the ranks at the club.

Clifton added: "We've got teenagers training with all three teams which the club is over the moon about. They are all coming through which is really good for the future.

"We are as prepared as we can be and the hardest part of this week will be picking the starting eleven.

"We know nothing about the teams that we will be facing which I think is a massive positive.

"Sometimes you can adjust your system to them when you know about teams, but all we will do is concentrate on ourselves.

"Pre-season has really boosted the football club. We have really connected with a lot of supporters with the players getting to know them and their attitudes have been first class.

"We know exactly where we are and are really in a good place for Saturday. We've just got to keep our fingers crossed and hope it works for us because we now have an identity and style of how we want to play football and it's what I have been waiting to do.

"I couldn't do it at all last season, but this time we have worked since June on it and you can tell what we're trying to do.

"We are really organised and hard to beat without the ball and, then when we get it, we just wear teams down and it's caught them cold."

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