6th Dec, 2019

Studley boss Draper sets the bar high

STUDLEY boss Keith Draper says he is targeting maximum points from the first two Midland League Division One fixtures as the season finally gets under way this weekend.

The Bees entertain Coventry Copsewood tomorrow (Saturday) before making the trip to local rivals Pershore Town on Tuesday (7/45pm KO).

And with Draper targeting a top six finish, he has urged his side to hit the ground running after winning five of their six pre-season friendlies this summer, their latest coming on Saturday with a 2-1 victory over Northfield Town.

“Pre-season has been excellent and we want to carry that form into the new season,” he said.

“Getting off to a winning start is massive and then local bragging rights are on the line against Pershore so we are aiming to take six points from six.

“This league is going to be very tough this year with the likes of Atherstone Town, Leicester Road, Walsall Wood, Brocton, Hinckley and Ilkeston Town all gunning for the top spot.

“Last season Cadbury Athletic proved they could mix it with the big boys by finishing sixth and we want to emulate that so we can qualify for the FA Cup.

“I will be very disappointed if we drift away towards the bottom of the table especially with what we have done this summer.”

After avoiding relegation last summer, Draper has been busy building a squad which he hopes can challenge at the top end of the table rather than scrapping for their life at the bottom.

The Bees boss has brought in Eddie Wyne-Wilson, Will Tibbetts, Andy Nicol, Ryan Young, Lewis Clarke, Lucky Nwosu, Aaron Xavier, Dayle Kenny and Liam Fullerton and is targeting more signings to ensure he has no excuses for lack of players.

“It’s always hard to have a full squad when you are travelling away from home for midweek so I am looking to have a squad of about 26 to combat that,” Draper said.

“The group we have got at the moment has gelled really well and the pre-season results have shown that.

“I think we have recruited really well and we owe it to the fans and Studley Football Club as a whole to be fighting at the top end of the table this year.

“This weekend we want to stamp our mark to show what we are all about.”

Only strikers Gaz Evans (wedding) and Andy Nicol (holiday) are missing for Studley’s clash against Coventry Copsewood.

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