NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: March Town boss Whaley seeks quick improvement as pre-season ends in defeat

PUBLISHED: 09:30 28 July 2019

March Town boss Brett Whaley and assistant Arran Duke look on during their side's 3-0 defeat to Pinchbeck United on Saturday. Picture: STEVE SNELL

March Town boss Brett Whaley and assistant Arran Duke look on during their side's 3-0 defeat to Pinchbeck United on Saturday. Picture: STEVE SNELL

Archant

If March Town are going to challenge for promotion this season, they will need to improve upon some key areas.

March Town captain Max Mattless talks to the referee during the pre-season friendly with Pinchbeck United on Saturday. Picture: STEVE SNELLMarch Town captain Max Mattless talks to the referee during the pre-season friendly with Pinchbeck United on Saturday. Picture: STEVE SNELL

That's the view of manager Brett Whaley after concluding what was an impressive pre-season schedule with a 3-0 home defeat to Pinchbeck United on Saturday.

Beforehand, the Hares claimed four successive victories but were brought back to reality by their higher-league opponents.

Speaking straight after the game, Whaley said: "Overall, up until today, pre-season has been pretty good.

"We didn't want to make too many changes so we could build from the momentum from last year.

March Town striker Jack Friend closes down a defender during the 3-0 defeat to Pinchbeck United on Saturday. Picture: STEVE SNELLMarch Town striker Jack Friend closes down a defender during the 3-0 defeat to Pinchbeck United on Saturday. Picture: STEVE SNELL

"We asked them to get fit, and they are definitely fitter than they were last year, so they're the positives.

"The reality is last year, we had some very good days and then we had some bad days, and it's getting rid of those bad days."

March finished fourth in Thurlow Nunn League, First Division North last term and Whaley, who has previously managed higher, knows where the issues lie.

"If you're going to be challenging like the Harlestons and Swaffhams last year, they were consistent every week and that's something we need to learn from," he said.

Craig Gillies of March Town holds off a defender during the pre-season friendly with Pinchbeck United on Saturday. Picture: STEVE SNELLCraig Gillies of March Town holds off a defender during the pre-season friendly with Pinchbeck United on Saturday. Picture: STEVE SNELL

"All over, we were slow, lethargic, defensively weren't good enough and we didn't create anything.

"After a positive pre-season, today was a reality check and hopefully it's a reality check we don't need to go back to during the season.

"They've got talent, but they've got to learn quickly that they've got to be at it every game."

No further signings or departures are expected before next Saturday's league opener at Leiston Reserves (3pm), but the possibility for change still looms large.

Mo Hamza about to deliver a cross for March Town during his side's pre-season defeat to Pinchbeck United on Saturday. Picture: STEVE SNELLMo Hamza about to deliver a cross for March Town during his side's pre-season defeat to Pinchbeck United on Saturday. Picture: STEVE SNELL

"I'm not looking for any new players," Whaley confirmed.

"Dalts (Simon Dalton) picked up a niggle so we might need a goalkeeper in; we'll see how that is after today."

"I don't want to change the group, but if their performance levels are like they were today, then we will have to look at others.

"They have to get their intensity right so they go out ready to be at their best every week."

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