New Bourne Town manager Raffa Mazzarella is looking forward to the start of the competitive season on Saturday after a good pre-season.
Bourne Town take on Irchester United at the Abbey Lawn in the United Counties League Division One on Saturday.
Mazzarella took charge of the Wakes this summer after a successful spell with Peterborough Northern Star’s reserve team, and has led Bourne to four wins in their seven pre-season matches, scoring 22 goals in the process.
He said: “On a personal note this is definitely a big challenge.
“I learned quickly as the manager of the reserves last season.
“I’m looking forward to the responsibility of looking after the first team as well as working closely with the reserves.
“Hopefully in the first few weeks we can pick up some points and perform well, even when players are unavailable due to holidays and weddings.
“I’m sure we’re in the same situation as everyone else but it’s a bit of a nightmare being without a few players for the first league game.”
Bourne will certainly be hoping for a better start to the league season than how it went on Saturday.
A rampant second-half performance saw Stamford AFC beat Bourne Town 8-2 on to win the Wilf Notley Cup.
Stamford’s Jordan Smith scored a hat-trick as the Daniels continued their good pre-season form.
Nabil Shariff and Ryan Robbins also scored braces and Jon Challinor got on the scoresheet to complete their fourth pre-season win after six matches.
Bourne, who play three divisions below Evo-Stik Northern Premier side Stamford, went ahead early in the match.
Bourne were awarded a penalty after a foul from Jason Field and Jezz Goldson-Williams stepped up to convert the set-piece.
Stamford made it 1-1 on the half hour mark, Jordan Smith caused havoc down the wing to create an opening for Shariff to score.
The provider then turned scorer eight minutes later when he headed in a Matt Cotton corner.
Bourbe would have been happy to go in just one down at half time but with just seconds left to play Robbins struck a free-kick through the Bourne wall to beat the keeper and make it 3-1 at the break.
After the break Robbins scored the fourth after winning a race to the ball, cleverly slipping the ball over Phil McGann in the Wakes’ goal.
Aaron Jessom pulled a goal back for Bourne in the 63rd minute when he tapped in from close range after capitalising on a defensive slip in a soaking wet goal mouth.
In the final half hour Stamford’s superior class began to show and the goals flowed in pairs.
In the 66th minute Shariff hit his second before Smith did the same a minute later.
The Wakes then conceded two more goals in a matter of seconds in the 76th minute to make the score look emphatic. Chalinor hit the first before Smith completed his hat-trick to cap a bad day for Bourne.