As Banbury United supporters eagerley await the visit of FC United of Manchester on Saturday, the club played two more friendlies this week.
Banbury drew 1-1 in Saturday’s warm-up with Solihull Moors. A triallist put Solihull ahead on 37 minutes with Morgan Roberts equalising for Banbury just four minutes later.
And on Tuesday evening watched by a 240-strong crowd, Banbury lost 3-1 to Oxford City, with their goal from a triallist.
Both National League sides have given the Puritans useful run-outs, with the start of their Southern League Premier Division Central season just a couple of weeks away.
Stourbridge will be their opening day visitors on Saturday, August 14.
Although Whing believes he is still two or three players short for start of season he is in no rush. With a lot of teams having triallists in at moment who they will be either signing or letting go, he is happy to play a waiting game for the players he wants.
In the meantime 17-year-old midfielder Brandon Patterson has signed for the new season after impressing in pre-season games.
He has been playing for Coventry Alliance side Dunlop FC and is excited about the prospect of playing at a higher level.
“I’m ambitious and will be putting everything into making the most of this fantastic opportunity,” he said. “The hard work starts here!”
Whing believes he will improve with his hunger to succeed and his undoubted talent.
“Brandon is an exciting prospect and we’re glad he will grow at Banbury United,” Whing said.
Former Stratford Town, Rushall Olympic and AFC Rushden & Diamonds striker Chris Wreh has also joined the squad.
The 24-year-old was with Northampton Town as a youngster and then spent a year at Arsenal’s academy .
The son of former Arsenal, AS Monaco and Liberian international striker Christopher Wreh is delighted to have joined the club and can’t wait to get started, meet the fans and do well.
The manager added: “We’ve been after a Number 9 for some time now and are delighted to get Chris on board with us for this season.
“He’s got a great record at this level and wants to improve, score goals and progress his career.
“With the attacking players we’ve now got it’s another really exciting signing for us.”
Whing is also pleased to have fans back after such a long break:“We have had fantastic crowds for the friendlies so far,” he said. “There’s been a great atmosphere and the players have really enjoyed having the them back.”
Saturday’s FC United game at the Banbury Plant Hire Community Stadium will be available via a free live stream as the club realise the expected large crowd may be difficult for those still shielding in the pandemic.
Whing added: “We’re really looking forward to the game against FC United of Manchester.
“It’s going to be a great occasion for both clubs and supporters,” he said.
“We’re expecting a big crowd and looking forward to the buzz around the place. Our squad is really starting to take shape now and it’ll be great to showcase the talent we feel we’ve got this year.”
HERE ARE THE DETAILS FOR SATURDAY'S LIVE STREAM:
Banbury Utd football club is to stream live coverage of an exciting friendly between the club and FC United on Saturday.
FC United of Manchester is the club formed in protest against the Glazier takeover of Manchester United in 2005. FC United comes to the Spencer Stadium on Saturday and will be bringing a large number of fans with them. With a large local interest the club is expecting a strong four figure crowd.
The football festival starts at 12:30pm and includes access to the fan park, live local music and exciting food trailers before the match.
“It is an exciting prospect for many but the club realises that a large crowd will be difficult for many people who are still shielding,” said Banbury Utd Board director James Pope.
“So we’ve arranged a free-to-air four-camera live stream. People will be able to watch the match on YouTube from home without it costing a penny. The coverage starts at 2:45pm and we have recruited a professional third party to run the day.”
With the start of the season just around the corner Saturday’s huge game provides Andy Whing with one of his last chances to settle his squad.
“We’re really looking forward to the game against FC United of Manchester on Saturday. It’s going to be a great occasion for both clubs and supporters,” he said.
“We’re expecting a big crowd and looking forward to the buzz around the place. Our squad is really starting to take shape now and it’ll be a great have to showcase the talent we feel we’ve got this year.”
Mr Pope is delighted to be offering the free to view stream.
He said: “We understand the last 18 months have been really hard for a lot of people. We are not out of the woods yet and while life is starting to get back to normal, we have to remember that a lot of people will still have a degree of anxiety around crowds.
“This is a massive game against an incredibly well-run club. We want to make sure everyone has access to it. We live in an age of fantastic technological capability and as community club we’ve gone out of our way to make sure everyone can enjoy the occasion.”
To sign up to watch go to
Or you can register interest on the club’s YouTube page www.youtube.com/watch?v=AK_ezxFhUYM