Landmark season will be Town’s toughest test
Uppingham Town skipper Jamie Dumford is backing his side to hold their own in a landmark season for the Rutland club.
Town are playing in the top flight of the Everards Leicestershire and Rutland League for the first time in their history this season.
Their meteoric rise to the Premier Division has seen Town toast four promotions in five seasons.
And, although Dumford admits his side face their toughest ever test, the Town captain believes his side are more than capable of competing with the top clubs in the area.
He said: “After four promotions in five years since joining the Everards League, the aim will be to stay in the division but we know this will be our toughest task yet.
“We know the top six or so teams in the division will be very hard to beat, but the key is for us to beat the teams around us. If we do that then there is no reason why we cannot stay in the division.
“The start will be tough while we are struggling with availability but, once we have a full squad available to choose from, then we can beat anyone on our day.”
The start to the new campaign was delayed from last week because of the recent wet weather so Town will get proceedings underway on Saturday when they host Kibworth at the Castle Hill ground (12.30pm).
The visitors finished second in the Premier Division last season and are likely to pose a strong challenge to a Town side who have retained the majority of their squad.
South African Gavin Morris will be not be returning to the Town ranks this season, but the club are hoping to have a new Australian player arrive next week.
Nick Green, who is part of the Leicestershire Academy, has signed for Town after spending last season with Market Deeping in the Lincolnshire Premier League.
Captain Dumford also has high hopes for Ben Farnsworth who was Town’s leading run scorer last season.
Dumford added: “Nick Green, once his Stamford School commitments have finished, will provide that extra bit of quality to the squad while Ben Farnsworth will be a player to watch.
“He was our leading run scorer last year and he has Premier League experience which will be vital and will be able to help the other lads with experience.
“We will struggle for the first six or seven weeks with availability until the schools break up and it is a step into the unknown for us as we have not faced many of the sides before.
“In addition the win/lose format this year will be different and it will be interesting to see how this affects results.
“I know everyone at the club though, on-and-off the field, is looking forward to this landmark season in the club’s history.”
Town’s second team also start their Division Seven East campaign this weekend away at Cosby with promotion a priority for the side.
Dumford explained: “As a club our main aim is also for the Seconds to gain promotion and close the gap between the two sides as currently this is too large.”