Proven players can help new-look Wakes to improve
Joint Bourne Town boss Leigh Porter is backing his new-look squad to deliver another season of improvement at the Abbey Lawn.
The Wakes begin their United Counties League Division One campaign on Saturday with a trip to face Rushden & Higham.
Porter was appointed as Bourne boss during the summer alongside Rob Middleton and the duo have revamped their squad with a host of new signings after a number of close season departures.
Midfielder Elliott Ramsden, who has previously played for Boston United Under 21s, is the latest addition to the Wakes squad that has seen Craig Rook, Dan Smith and Warren McSkelly all join from Peterborough Northern Star along with talented youngsters Kuda Burutsa and Scott Waumsley.
And, after the club improved on their 15th place finish in the 2016-17 campaign by ending last season in 10th spot, Porter is keen to continue the Wakes’ progression.
He said: “We want to improve on last season and I believe we’ve got the personnel to enable us to do that.
“We’ve got the belief in the squad that they will tick all the right boxes.
“We’ve got a lot of ability. We’ve got players who are proven at a higher level, players who are proven at this level and players who are moving up to prove themselves.
“It’s a good mix of players who all want to give it their best shot.
“We will be missing a few players for first game like everyone else and we’ve got to make the right decisions for certain players who are carrying knocks, but we’ve got a really good squad to choose from so we’re starting well.”
Bourne visit a Rushden side on Saturday who finished just a point above the Wakes in the final Division One table.
The Cudge Lankies also completed a league double over the Wakes after following up a 4-2 home success with a 2-1 triumph at the Abbey Lawn as the two sides met twice in three days towards the end of the campaign.
Despite losing top goalscorer Dylan Wilson – who netted 35 times last season – to higher level St Ives, Rushden had brought in a couple of players from Raunds who finished fourth last season.
Porter continued: “We’re ready as we’ll ever be. It’s been a long, hard July, but we’re prepared and ready to go.
“Pre-season at any club is all about getting ready for the start of the season so we’re now ready for the kick-off.
“It’s one of the furthest trips from Bourne so there’s a fair bit of travelling, but they finished in a similar position to us last season.
“I haven’t heard too much about their summer recruitment so they’ll probably be very similar to last season.
“They had a good performance recently against Rushden & Diamonds, but we’ll be going into every game wanting to show the same attitude and work-rate.”