The main focus will be on starting the season on a positive footing and setting the ball rolling for the season ahead, says Erith & Belvedere boss Luke Coleman

Friday 04th August 2017

ERITH & BELVEDERE manager Luke Coleman expects Wick will present his side a tough test in The FA Cup tomorrow.

The Deres endured a miserable campaign and were relegated from the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division at the end of April after finishing  rock bottom and are now preparing to start their new campaign in the Extra Preliminary Round against the Sussex side tomorrow.

“I expect Wick will likely be prepared and present us with a tough test,” said Coleman, who wants his club to bank the £1,500 in FA prize money with an opening day win.

“We have watched them on one occasion but that could mean very little on the day. 

“We will approach the game with a positive mindset and try to implement our mark and be on the front foot as we are at home.

“I expect that unless we approach the game in the right way it could be a difficult game.

“It is an important game for us but also the club and it would be nice to try and bring some money into the club.

“The club have been very supportive of what we are trying to do in the off-season and it would be good to bring something back in.

“However, the main focus, footballing wise, will be on starting the season on a positive footing and setting the ball rolling for the season ahead.”

Coleman says there has been a number of new signings this summer, most will make their debuts against Wick.

“The FA Cup game will be our first competitive game and although I do not agree with The FA Cup being the first match of the season, it is an opportunity for us to test how far we have come since the start of pre-season,” said Coleman.

“There have been a number of new signings and I am pleased with how we have progressed during pre-season.

“I think it is important to look at the progression and as a management team we have been very pleased.

“We have played a number of sides from higher divisions and we have picked up some encouraging results and performances.

“The most pleasing part is that it is a mainly new side and we seem to have gelled very well.

“It took a lot of work in the off-season to get the players through the door that we have and without naming individuals, a number of players have come and bought into our philosophy and embedded into the team really well.  However, the main test will be Saturday.

“We have said to the new players that we want competition in the side this year, which is where I felt we lacked at the end of last year.  I think moving forward the players will continue to keep their standards as high as they have during pre-season.”

Erith & Belvedere kick-off their new Southern Counties East Football League First Division campaign with a trip to Chatham to tackle Gravesham Borough on Saturday 12 August.

“Our aspirations for the season are clearly to do as well as we can,” said Coleman.

“I expect people will put a lot of pressure on us because Erith & Belvedere are perceived as a big club.

“However, as I have said before, this invariable counts for nothing. There are a number of sides in our league this year who I am sure have high hopes so we have to continue our approach every week professionally and I am sure if we do this we will compete well.”

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Erith & Belvedere  v  Wick
The Emirates FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round
Saturday 5th August 2017
Kick Off 3:00pm
At Park View Road, Welling, Kent DA1 1SY