Chatteris and Outwell have high hopes as they prepare for Kershaw Senior A curtain raiser

Chatteris beat Needingworth 7-0 in their last pre-season friendly. Picture: Chatteris Twitter.

Chatteris beat Needingworth 7-0 in their last pre-season friendly. Picture: Chatteris Twitter. - Credit: Archant

Chatteris Town and Outwell Swifts square off in their Kershaw Senior A opener tomorrow night and both sides have one goal in mind … promotion.

The Lilies, with Ashley Taylor newly installed in the hotseat, are looking to build on last season’s fourth place finish.

Outwell Swifts are new to the league, having secured promotion from Kershaw Senior B.

Their manager, Mark Secker, thinks his side is capable of doing it again.

He said: “The nucleus of the squad has remained – only two players left - and we have brought in some new players.

“Our defence is the same and we’ve added 17 year-old Connor Chambers, who has a bright future.

“Last season, we struggled to score goals. The signings of Paul Richardson, Jack Davis and Ricky Gunns will address that. Also, Luke Plumb and Sam Hanslip are able to commit to a full season.

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“We’ve looked strong in pre-season, remaining undefeated. I know that doesn’t mean anything but our performances got better every week.

“We’ve been building the squad and club for the past three and a half years. I said I wanted to get us in to the Kershaw Premier in five years. For that to happen, we need to get promotion.”

Secker is under no illusions about the size of the challenge which awaits his side at Chatteris.

He said: “It will be hard. I expect it will be pretty much the same as playing Doddington last season (Taylor managed Doddington). It will be a good game for the spectators.”

Taylor also expects a “tough” game against a ”stronger” Outwell side.

He said: “I know them quite well from last year. They have strengthened their side and we expect a really tough game.”

Bolstered by a host of key signings, including a contingent who have followed him from Doddington, Taylor says his side is ready to mount a title challenge.

“He said: “That’s the aim. We want to get back into the Kershaw Premier. Pre-season has gone really well. Other than Needingworth, who we beat well, all the other games were against higher level opposition.

“We’ve got a squad of young, enthusiastic players who are together.”