Crows aiming for flying start
ROYSTON Town can make the best possible start to their league campaign with three straight home fixtures. Promotion is the word on everyone s lips as The Crows look to make an impact in the South Midlands Division One, and that starts with Harpenden Town
ROYSTON Town can make the best possible start to their league campaign with three straight home fixtures.
Promotion is the word on everyone's lips as The Crows look to make an impact in the South Midlands Division One, and that starts with Harpenden Town on Saturday.
Manager Paul Attfield told The Crow: "This is the game we have all been working so hard for over the summer. It's the first game of what promises to be another interesting season.
"And a good start will be vital. We need to hit the ground running and get the early points under our belts.
"We've done all we can to ensure we get the start we need, and the players have worked extremely hard over the summer.
"I don't think the other clubs have gone through such a tough pre-season.
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"And that puts us in a good position. The fitness levels are the highest they have ever been and we're looking in good shape. I think they are ready for the challenge."
And it's an intense opening fixture list for The Crows, with promotion rivals Hoddesdon and New Bradwell either side of next Saturday's difficult FA Cup extra preliminary round trip to Wembley.
"It's a tough start," said Attfield.
"We know a bit about Harpenden, having played them a few times last season. But they will be a stronger proposition this time around, as they've brought in a new manager and a number of new players. And like ourselves they've also had a very good pre-season.
"We're not looking past Saturday's game too much, but the games with Hoddesdon and New Bradwell are big ones because they too will be looking for promotion.
"And I'm sure they'll be there or thereabouts at the end of the season."
However, Attfield boasts an impressive record at Garden Walk losing just one of his 13 league games there last season.
He said: "Our away form was a bit patchy last year, and we do need to show more consistency.
"However, we did have a very good home record so these matches represent an opportunity for us to do well and a chance to take points off our potential rivals.
"These first five or six games can often be the key, so it's important we remain focused and do what we need to do.
"There's a lot of hype and talk about us, and it's also important not to get carried away - we need to concentrate on our own game and take it one step at a time."
However, a powerful opening would reinforce the steel forged by the disappointing end to the last campaign.
Attfield said: "We are looking good and it has been a successful pre-season for us. I have a rough idea on who will start on Saturday, although both Gregg Jackson and David Cain limped off the field on Tuesday, so we've got to have a look at those two.
"But I think preparations are complete and we're all looking forward to what promises to be a big season for us. And we need to do the best we can in the coming weeks."
Royston entertain Harpenden Town on Saturday, with Hoddesdon Town making the trip to Garden Walk on Tuesday. New Bradwell St Peter visit on Saturday, August 23, before The Crows travel to Arlesey Athletic on Wednesday, August 28 and then London Colney on Tuesday, September 2.
Home games with Winslow United and Sun Postal Sports follow before a trip to Bedford at the end of September.
On Saturday Royston claimed two impressive victories. First up was a 5-4 Herts Charity Shield win over Leverstock Green, where Ross Collins and Aaron Welch added to Craig Hammond's first-half hat-trick.
Elsewhere, Mark Wright (2) and Liam Beaumont helped Royston to a 3-1 win at Haringey Borough.