Bideford ready for first game of Evo-Stik League South West season
PUBLISHED: 14:13 08 August 2017 | UPDATED: 09:22 09 August 2017
Robins begin their campaign on Saturday at home to Didcot Town.
A new-look Bideford begin their Evo-Stik League South West campaign on Saturday.
The Robins welcome Didcot Town to the Sports Ground for their first game of the season.
Manager Sean Joyce’s squad has gone through a transformation over the summer, with new additions from front to back.
Among the latest additions to the squad during pre-season were Exeter City loanee Max Smallcombe, former Stoke Gabriel midfielder Louis Roberts and Scott Beattie, who impressed the manager during his trial game against Cardiff City.
The trio join a host of off-season additions, including four ex-Barnstaple Town players and Brian Levien from Appledore, and Joyce is happy with the end product.
“I’ve trimmed it off and I’ve got the squad I want now,” he said.
“It’s difficult because I could put my hand in a hat with the 18 players I’ve got and every one could play. I’m lucky in a way because we’re a strong 18.”
Bideford’s pre-season campaign ended on Friday night with a 3-0 win over South West Peninsula League side Appledore.
An early goal from Sean Downing was followed by a finish from Billy Tucker to give them a 2-0 lead at the break.
Downing added the third in the second half with a shot from 25 yards.
While the Robins will doubtlessly be looking to improve on a 10th place finish last season, Joyce said he isn’t yet sure what his expectations are in a tough league.
“I can only see us improving,” he said.
“It’s going to be a tough league this year because there’s a hell of a lot of money around.
“Expectations? I don’t know. I think we’ll improve and we’ll get better and it’s a long term project with these lads.
“They’re younger and maybe a bit less experienced than the lads I had, but we’ve got more energy and more movement about us.
“Teams know when you play Bideford you’re always going to get a game, so lets see where it takes us.”