Nick on the new season
We have started the football year well with the granting of planning permission at the UWE site, and we hope to continue that success on the pitch as well. Once again we find ourselves ready to embark on another season here at the Memorial Stadium. I hope you have all enjoyed your summer break and are looking forward to the 2012/13 campaign. With Euro 2012 and the Olympics, it has been a busy summer of sport, but I for one cannot wait for Saturday’s to be all about football again.
After a difficult first half of the 2011/12 season, we finished strongly, with a number of memorable home performances. It is our aim to take that level of hard work and commitment into the new season, and we hope that we can continue to improve under Mark’s leadership. Mark and I have worked hard over the summer to add some key faces to the squad, and although we are not quite there yet, we are very pleased with the personnel we have brought in so far.
David Clarkson was a fantastic acquisition for the club, and his experience will be invaluable to some of the younger strikers coming up through the ranks. Likewise Garry Kenneth joins us from a higher level and will cut an imposing figure in our defensive line up. It was a big blow to lose him during the Bristol City game, but I am assured he will not be out for long. Fabien Broghammer is also an exciting prospect and is set to have a big impact running down the wing. Finally loan keeper Sam Walker made a great impression against Ipswich on Tuesday night, and he looks like he will be a solid figure between the sticks.
Unfortunately we were not able to hang on to Mustapha Carayol, after a number of approaches from Middlesbrough. We were all sad to see Muzzy go, as he had the talent to turn a game on it’s head, but we could not stand in his way, and we wish him all the best for the future. We also parted company with Chris Zebroski over the summer, and we wish him well at Cheltenham.
Mark and I realise that we are still a few players short of a full squad, and we will be working hard right up until the transfer windows closes, to bring in a couple more faces. As Mark has said, it is about getting the right people in, and we will not be panicking and signing players just for the sake of it.
It was disappointing to open the season with a loss at Ipswich in the Capital One Cup, but there were definitely a number of positives to take from the game. Michael Smith, who has impressed throughout pre season, opened the scoring with a wonder goal, and both Clarkson and Walker looked excellent on their debuts. So I believe we can now go into the league campaign full of confidence. We have high hopes for this season, and it is important for us to get off to a good start. So please come down to the Memorial Stadium on Saturday to help us put our first three points on the board. Come on you Blues!