City of Peterborough couldn’t be in much better form as they prepare to open their National League Division One campaign at University of Bimingham on Sunday (September 29).
It’s the highest level the club have ever performed at after they earned promotion from the National East Conference through the play-offs despite ‘only’ finishing seventh in the table.
A restructuring of the National League introduced an extra layer of competition and City took advantage to move within one promotion of the National League Premier Division.
It’s a daunting task ahead with young, fit, gifted sides in opposition. As well as Sunday’s opening opponents, Loughborough Students and university sides from Durham and Nottingham are in City’s division.
City are full of confidence though having won five and drawn one of six pre-season friendlies, the latest a 1-0 success over East Premier Division side Harleston Magpies, courtesy of an Adam Wilson goal last weekend.
City have lost one star of last season, Cameron Heald, who is starting his final year of studies at Bath University, but they appear to have recruited solidly.
Most interesting is midfielder/defender Andy Seimann, an RAF man posted to Wittering, who won over 100 caps combined for Wales at indoor and outdoor level before retiring. Defender Dan Salmon has also moved to Bretton Gate from Loughborough Students while four of last season’s Bourne Deeping squad - Chris Clarkson, Simon Miles, Shane Carlton, Ali Sitton - have pitched up with the aim of playing first or second team hockey.
Rob Halton has also joined the club from Spalding.
City of Peterborough friendly results: beat Belper 3-1, Havant 3-0, East London 3-2, Bedford 2-0 and Harleston 1-0. Drew 3-3 with Old Loughtonians. All are National League sides apart from East London.