New-look Netherton United aiming high again this season
The city club were leading an exciting race for the top-flight title last season when Covid-19 struck and, despite losing key men like Mark Baines and Robbie Ellis, they look just as strong this time around thanks to the return to the club of Ryan Wood and the arrival of some gifted young players like Andy Irvine and Alfie Ferguson.
“The squad is strong in every area,” Netherton manager Jon Harrison said. “We’ve lost a few players, but we’ve made some great signings.
“You can already see partnerships forming and they’re all working hard for each other, so as soon as we lose the ball we get it back and go again. That bodes well for the season ahead.
“It has to be our aim to win the league and gain promotion to the UCL, but along the way we would really like to bring 3/4 of our under 18s through to the first-team squad.
“I think our biggest challengers will be Moulton Harrox again. Getting Bobby Patterson back is huge for them and they’ve had some great results in pre-season.
“Long Sutton and Uppingham are going to very strong and then you’ve got the unpredictables Parson’s Drove and Peterborough North End Sports who will both be either very strong or nowhere near it.
“Stamford Lions have lost a few very good players, but I know (manager) James Sheeham will make them competitive again so it’s going to be a tough league to win,”
Netherton start the Premier Division season at Ketton tomorrow (September 5).
They wound up their pre-season programme with a 4-2 win over Barley Mow and a 4-1 win over Raunds. Irvine, Tom Randall, Eunis Lievins and Zack Fisher scored v Barlow Mow. Fisher scored twice against Raunds with Randall and Ryan Pratt also on target.
*The United Counties League season also starts tomorrow with Dwayne Rankin kicking off his reign as Peterborough Northern Star with a tough game at Louighborough University.
Main weekend fixtures.
Saturday, September 5
United Counties League
Premier Division: Anstey Nomads v Holbeach, Deeping v Harborough, Loughborough Uni v Peterborough Northern Star, Pinchbeck v Rugby.
Division One: Blackstones v Aylestone Park. Sileby v Bourne, Whittlesey v Birstall.
Premier Division: Cardea v Leverington, Crowland v Oakham, Eye v Uppingham, Holbeach v Peterborough NE Sports, ICA v Parson Drove, Ketton v Netherton, Stilton v Long Sutton.