by Matthew Durrant · 31/07/2019
Saturday 3 August, 3pm
NWCFL Division One South
Pershall Park, Chester Road, Eccleshall, Staffordshire ST21 6NE
£5 adults / £3 concessions
While West grew into pre-season in some style – memories of a worrisome loss at Wilmslow Albion were wiped following strong wins against a Salford City XI and Atherton Collieries – there will be much bigger questions to answer on Saturday as the NWCFL season begins afresh. Friends from last season in Eccleshall are the hosts, and will be looking to improve on last season’s bottom half finish.
Eccleshall have had a mixed set of friendly results, to say the least: the highs of a 9-1 win away at City of Stoke countered somewhat by being soundly beaten by Irlam away 8-0. West fans would like to think that Irlam would be a good yardstick to measure both sides, given our own fixture against them only ended up in a 2-1 loss. However, things rarely work out that way, and those who made the trip to Eccleshall away last season will remember a battling side who could’ve very easily been the winning team on that day.
That game finished 2-1 to West – although our own player eligibility issues meant it was Eccleshall who advanced to the next round. Of the 16 players who made the trip to play for former manager Steve Settle that day, only four (Tinker, Gavin, Cooper, Eckersley) are registered with the club at the time of writing. Ben Woods, who got his name on the scoresheet with what proved to be the decisive goal, has turned out for Brad Cooke in pre-season, but has not (again, at the time of writing) signed forms.
Speaking to NWCFL.com, Eccleshall joint-manager Kyle Adams said of the forthcoming campaign: “We’ve brought a few players in; probably three or four in, to note at the minute. We think we have strengthened from what we had last season. It’s always difficult to attract players, due to where we’re based and the fact that we haven’t got a budget available but we feel that the few additions that we’ve made make us stronger going forward for this campaign”
Adams was appointed alongside Craig Bould on Boxing Day 2018, and steered the side to a 13th placed finish, amassing 46 points – a total they’ll be looking to start building on with our visit.
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