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McDonald: I am ready for the test
9:55am Thursday 15th August 2013 in Sport
BOSS LIAM McDonald admits he can’t wait to see how his newly-fashioned Redditch United squad handle life in the Calor Southern League Premier Division.
The Reds kick-off the 2013-14 campaign at home to Arlesey Town on Saturday (3pm ko) before making a trip to Bedford on Tuesday night (7.45pm).
McDonald took the reins at the Valley Stadium in May and has been working hard to put his mark on the squad by adding the likes of Kyle Patterson, Charlie Reece and Harry Austin.
But the manager knows that the real test for his youthful group starts this weekend.
“I am not nervous at all, I am looking forward to the season getting under way,” said McDonald.
“Because I took over as manager in May it feels like this moment has been a coming for a long time and I cannot wait.
“We’re building a young side and we’ve given the players an opportunity to prove themselves.
“We’re going to be hungry, be powerful and have lots of pace and I am not worried about throwing this young team into the fray.
“I’ve spoken to someone who has played Arlesey so we know what we’re coming up against but I am a manager who would rather concentrate on my own team rather than the opposition.
“But I am very excited about the start of the season, I can’t wait to see how our work in pre-season has paid off.”
United are hoping to bolster their squad with two experienced players who have played in the Conference Premier and also add another promising young striker who has impressed at a lower level in the non-league pyramid. Currently McDonald has a 20-strong squad to call-upon.
United completed their pre-season programme with a 3-2 home defeat to a strong Sutton Coldfield Town team.
“I have watched all our pre-season games a few times and think the goals we have conceded are from a lack of collective defending rather than individual mistakes,” said McDonald.
“It’s about some of the attacking players not really tracking back but that is something we can work on.”
Meanwhile, United’s preparations for the new season have been disrupted by Justin Fowkes’s decision to quit as reserve team manager over a disagreement with the club regarding the loaning out of young players.
Youth team coach Julian Workman will take over a merged under-18s, 21s and reserves team for the season.
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