REDDITCH United have revealed their pre-season programme during a busy week of comings and goings at the club.
Paul Davis’ side will begin their preparations for the 2018/19 Evo-Stik South Premier campaign with the glamour fixture against a first team Port Vale side on Friday July 6 at the Trico – a fixture arranged as part of Dior Angus’ switch to the League Two side last season.
Neighbours Studley are the visitors on Wednesday, July 11 before a visit to Evesham United’s Jubilee Stadium on Sunday, July 15 in the Worcestershire Senior Cup semi-final.
If the Reds progress to the final, the home friendly arranged against North Leigh two days later will be cancelled.
Pre-season then continues at home to Worcester City on Saturday, July 21 before a visit to Didcot Town seven days later.
Further away matches at Banbury United on Tuesday, July 31 and Barry Town on Saturday, August 4 then complete the schedule.
Davis is working hard to put together his Reds squad and has moved to bring in former United midfielder Max Loveridge from Bromsgrove Sporting, whilst leaving the Trico is full-back Tyler Weir who has agreed a move to Westfields, enabling him to play closer to his Ledbury home.
There will also be opportunities for members of the Redditch United Academy to join in with first team training and enjoy a taste of the action, as they aim to break into the first-team set-up.
Davis said: “Since my appointment, we have been working tirelessly to get our playing targets to agree to sign for Redditch United for the coming season.
“We feel we are very close to where we want to be and will announce them once they are over the line.
“With a busy and challenging pre-season, it will give me a very good understanding of how the team will look and what can be achieved this coming season.
“We have chosen to play a mixture of local clubs, along with team that are in and around our level and then finish pre-season with a challenging trip to Welsh Premier team Barry Town.”
Meanwhile, director Paul West has stepped down from the Reds’ board, although he will continue his role as a coach in the girls’ junior section.
West said: “The club is at an exciting stage of its development but commitments elsewhere have triggered my decision to relinquish my position.
“I would like to thank chairman Chris Swan and all board members, whom I have had the privilege of working alongside during the last few years. Additionally, the players, management, staff, volunteers and, of course, the Reds faithful who have always been supportive of myself and my family, for which we will always be grateful.
“With the continued support, not just from a commercial point of view, but from its growing community membership from all ages and walks of life, Redditch United is a club I am confident will grow from strength to strength.”
United’s 2017/18 Supporters’ Player of the Season Ethan Ross, who spent the previous campaign on loan from West Bromwich Albion, has secured a move to League Two side Colchester United.
There has also been change regards the ladies’ set-up at the Reds, with boss Gary Barrell having left his role with immediate effect.
Barrell, who has indicated to the Standard he will imminently be exploring options elsewhere, leaves his role with huge credit to his name having led the ladies to a West Midlands Women’s League Division One South league and cup double last season, whilst also guiding the side into the Women’s FA Cup first round proper for the first time.
Chairman Swan said: “I would like to thank Gary for his hard work and dedication. He has brought success to the ladies’ senior team and we wish him the best of luck for the future.”
Reds’ ladies’ director of football and former Coventry City Ladies and West Bromwich Albion Women manager Craig Nicholls will oversee the search for Barrell’s successor.