Whing's squad ready for tough start to new season
After such a long break Banbury United can’t wait to get their teeth into the new season, which starts on Saturday with the visit of Stourbridge.
“We’re really looking forward to it,” said manager Andy Whing.
“But we couldn’t have asked for a harder game to start our league campaign.
“They’re one of the league’s biggest spenders and have some really good players,” said the Puritans boss.
“It will be tough against the big boys of the league, but we’re feeling confident and have that mentality of going into every game to win it.”
And as the Pitching In Southern League Premier Division Central games come thick and fast, on Tuesday Banbury visit AFC Rushden & Diamonds (7.45pm).
“It’s been a really good pre-season and we’ve had some really tough games against higher league opposition, which have been really good tests and we’ve come out very well,” he explained.
“We’ve changed the system of how we approach games which seems to suit the players we’ve got.”
And Whing is hoping they can defy the bookmakers’ odds. “They have us at 25-1 to win the league or get promoted, which is fifth from bottom so I was surprised at that.
“There’s a lot of big teams which the bookies go for, but hopefully we can be the underdogs. We have got a good chance of pushing at the higher echelons of the league. Obviously it’s a long season, but hopefully we can keep the team together and fit.”
Banbury had a great run in the FA Cup last year, eventually going out to Canvey Island in the first round proper in November and the manager is hoping they can bring more success to the club this time around.
“We have a squad that can push every team this season and finish top end of the table,” said Whing, who only joined the club in May last year.
“We’ve only played 13 games in that time, so it’s quite surreal,” he added. “We haven’t played for such a long time, we’re really looking forward to getting going again.
“The club have really good support and if we can perform like we did in the FA Cup hopefully we’ll attract a few more fans.”
And he is grateful to everyone who has helped the club prepare for the new season.
“There’s so much work gone on at the ground I’d like to say a massive thank you to all the fans and volunteers,” Whing added.
“There is so much gone on behind the scenes and hopefully we can get the results to repay them.”