Kingstonian vs Woking
5:50pm, Thu 16th Jul 2009
First pre-season friendly
3pm on Saturday 18 July 2009
Donâ€™t forget that there is a Legends match before this game, kicking off at 2pm: see details below.
Well, here we go! The first official pre-season friendly and we start with a visit to old rivals, Kingstonian, who approach this campaign full of confidence after winning the Ryman League Division One South championship last year.
Cards fans will be keen to get their first glimpse of Graham Bakerâ€™s new signings: Harry Arter, Sam Sloma, Tony Sinclair, Mark Ricketts, Aswad Thomas and Jon Boardman, although Jon is a familiar figure, of course, to most Woking fans. Graham says that he plans to play two teams, giving 45 minutes each to all of the players involved. He will play all the first team squad members who are fit. However, Charlie Moone and Jerome Maledon are carrying injuries â€“ not serious, says Graham â€“ and there are also doubts over Delano Sam-Yorke and Dan Sintim. The other players will be trialists and Academy players.
Graham says that heâ€™s very happy with the way pre-season has gone so far. The trialists have performed exceptionally well in a couple of unofficial friendlies. He is only sorry that many of them are going to be disappointed because the number of places remaining to be filled is very few. Graham is now concentrating on â€˜wide right and up frontâ€™ but says that he will continue to involve half a dozen trialists for the next seven to ten days to see if any of them can force their way into contention.
Given that Saturdayâ€™s game is our first official friendly, Graham is not concerned about the result but views it as an opportunity for everyone to get 45 minutes under their belt, to build up fitness and to gel. He explains that he sees the Aldershot (28 July) and Stevenage (1 August) matches as â€˜benchmarkâ€™ games â€“ assuming that he is able to put out strong teams for those matches. Those games should indicate how ready we are for the season ahead.
With a lot of pre-season friendlies coming up, Graham is anxious not to â€˜over-pushâ€™ players, saying that there is a fine line between getting match fit and causing strain and injuries. He commented that too often in the past weâ€™ve started the season with players out injured and he will doing his best to avoid that if possible.
Finally, Graham confirmed that those players who have not signed contracts but have agreed terms are expected to do so by the end of the month and that Jon Boardman has been appointed captain. (There wonâ€™t be separate team captains and club captains as there were last season.)
The Ks have kept most of their championship-winning side from last season, including top scorer, Bobby Traynor, and strike partner Carl Wilson-Dennis. Manager Alan Dowson has brought in three new faces so far. Ryan Lake, a 23 year-old left-sided defender, has signed from Hampton and Richmond Borough, for whom he made over 100 appearances. Winger Lewis Cook has signed from Staines Town, having originally begun his career at Wycombe Wanderers. Josh Willis, a 20 year-old keeper, has signed from Ashford Town and will be challenging Luke Garrard for the number one jersey.
The Ks beat Raynes Park 2-1 away last Saturday, with Traynor grabbing both goals, one from the penalty spot. The Kâ€™s side included several trialists, among them Luke Pigden, released by AFC Wimbledon. On Monday they beat a touring Anzacs side 1-0, the only goal coming from former West Ham and Fulham player, Ian Pearce. On Wednesday night the Ks lost 2-1 at home to Hampton and Richmond Borough, who reached the Conference South play-offs last season. Bobby Traynor was on target again for the Ks.
Kingstonian Legends will take on Woking Legends in a small-sided game beginning at 2pm. Geoff Chapple, a legend at both clubs, will be there to preside. Those expected to appear for the two sides include:
Kingstonian: Francis Vines, Phil Wingfield, Eddie Akuamoah, Matt Crossley, Scott Corbett, Geoff Pitcher, Garry Patterson
Woking: Trevor Baron, Laurence Batty, Scott Steele, Andy Clement, Glenn Cockerill, Martin Tyler
Jack Goodchild Way,
422a Kingston Road,
Kingston upon Thames,
Head for A3 towards London and turn off into Malden Road (A2043). Follow Malden Road to the roundabout and turn left into Kingston Road. From here Kingsmeadow is signposted and is situated about 1 mile up the Kingston Road, on the left-hand side.
The nearest station is Norbiton. From Woking youâ€™d need to change at either Wimbledon or Clapham Junction, depending on which train you get, to take a Shepperton line train. The journey should take about 50 minutes. For example, the 12.46 from Woking should get you to Norbiton at 13.37.
Leave station via back exit and head across to Norbiton Avenue. Follow round to end and turn right onto Gloucester Road. Take a left upon reaching Kingston Road at end, and the ground is a few minutes down on the right.
Come on, you Cards!