NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Brand confident Wisbech St Mary can rebuild after a tough campaign

PUBLISHED: 09:38 02 August 2019

Wisbech St Mary manager Mel Mattless alongside assistant Roy Brand took over the club in March, and now aim to rebuild following last season's second-from-bottom finish in Thurlow Nunn League, First Division North. They open their 2019-20 campaign at home to Diss Town on Saturday. Picture: ARCHANT

Wisbech St Mary manager Mel Mattless alongside assistant Roy Brand took over the club in March, and now aim to rebuild following last season's second-from-bottom finish in Thurlow Nunn League, First Division North. They open their 2019-20 campaign at home to Diss Town on Saturday. Picture: ARCHANT

Archant

Wisbech St Mary assistant manager Roy Brand is optimistic the club can progress despite falling on hard times.

Goalkeeper Dan Smith (left) has returned to Wisbech St Mary from Peterborough Northern Star, and has also featured for fellow Fen outfit, Chatteris Town. Picture: IAN CARTERGoalkeeper Dan Smith (left) has returned to Wisbech St Mary from Peterborough Northern Star, and has also featured for fellow Fen outfit, Chatteris Town. Picture: IAN CARTER

Saints slumped to second-from bottom in Thurlow Nunn League, First Division North last term, earning just eight victories from 36 league games.

The club witnessed a major squad overhaul during an unstable season, including the loss of Scott Waumsley to Yaxley.

But Brand, along with boss Mel Mattless who took charge following the departure of Joe Simpson in March, is ready for the task at hand.

"It's been really difficult to attract players because of the situation we were in," Brand said.

"We never really lost any players because we already lost them by the time we'd taken over.

"The club has probably got one of the best youth setups on the area, so we thought we'd see what talent we'd have amongst our under-18s for the best part of last month.

"Our whole project is to turn up for pre-season training next year, have a squad that turns up from day one and build that squad from within."

One key addition for Saints is the return of goalkeeper Dan Smith to the ABC Quality Meats Stadium from Peterborough Northern Star, and on top of this, the team also enjoyed an unbeaten pre-season campaign.

And with confidence running high, Brand predicts this can resemble in the long-term, starting with Saints' league opener at home to Diss Town tomorrow (3pm).

"I've got a feeling we're going to end up with exciting, big-scoring games," he added.

"Saturday is a massive test because it's the first time we'll see them up against the level we'll face all season, so time will tell.

"We have got some quick, young, useful players with a lot of enthusiasm that when we go forward, we look dangerous.

"We're looking for a mid-table finish and a cup run, but the main project for us is to get this club back together.

"We've also got the A Team, Reserves, and they're all going to training together.

"We're all in the same group chat, so we're just trying to bring the club back together as one unit and support each other."

Saints have added Tansel Ibrahim and John Thrower as the club's new Reserve and A Team managers respectively, with Roger Manchett and Clayton Payne managing the B team.

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