Whing keen for Puritans to enjoy playing again

Banbury United's pre-season programme is now in full flow

Thursday, 13th August 2020, 8:00 am
Manager Andy Whing talks to his Banbury United players during their 3-2 friendly success at Easington Sports last weekend. Pictures by Julie Hawkins

Andy Whing has urged his Banbury United squad to enjoy playing again as their pre-season friendly programme continues this weekend.

The Puritans opened pre-season with a 3-2 win at Easington Sports last Saturday thanks to two goals from Ricky Johnson and one from summer signing Henry Landers.

Banbury are on home soil on Saturday as they take on Daventry Town behind closed doors as their preparations towards the proposed start of the new season on September 12 continue.

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Sam Brown has now completed his move to Banbury from league rivals AFC Rushden & Diamonds

And Whing, who replaced Mike Ford as manager this summer, said: “It’s nice to get going again and it was good to play again.

“We had a couple of players missing, it was a very dry pitch but it was a really decent run-out and Easington gave it a right go and that made it a very competitive fixture for us.

“Even before the game I was just telling the lads to go and enjoy themselves because they haven’t played for five months.

“I didn’t want to steam in and say ‘we need to do this, this and this’ because the lads need to get back to playing and enjoying it again.

“We will just add little bits at a time. We have still got six weeks until the start of the season.

“We don’t want to kill the players with too much information too early. I just want them to enjoy playing again while working up that match fitness for the time being.”

Whing completed a key signing ahead of last weekend’s clash with the addition of experienced central defender Kelvin Langmead, who has made 375 appearances in the Football League in his career.

And the Banbury boss also got one of his big priorities for the summer done this week by landing left-back Sam Brown from league rivals AFC Rushden & Diamonds where he made over 300 appearances.

“The main thing was to try to keep as much of last season’s squad as possible,” Whing added.

“We didn’t want a full rebuild, we just wanted to add bits of quality and experience to it.

“Kelvin has come in and he has got great experience. He is going to help the younger players and we are looking forward to working with him.

“We’re absolutely delighted we’ve got Sam on board.

“Left-back was our biggest priority and Sam was our number one target.

“It’s been a long process to get Sam’s signature as he spent so long at one club and it was a difficult decision for him to move. But we’re thrilled he’s our player now."