HELLENIC League Division One West club Tuffley Rovers AFC are looking forward to the new season with optimism.
A mixed return so far in pre-season, with two wins and two defeats, has done nothing to dampen the good feeling around the club, and hopes are high for the season, which begins on Tuesday, August 12.
Tuffley host Gloucestershire County League side Gala Wilton tomorrow (3pm). The opposition have gone through a tough pre-season following the resignation of manager Jay Kelly.
Former Gala players Joel White and Ollie Hall will face their former team-mates, having moved to Rovers during pre-season.
Since manager Warren Evans joined the club in June Tuffley’s ranks have been swelled by several new arrivals.
Teenagers Ryan Williams and Kieran Squires have joined the squad, which is captained by former Southampton player Shayne Bradley.
“We’ve got a good core of lads, but we could do with a little more leadership,” said Evans (inset).
“I’m looking to add an experienced defender and possibly a couple more players to help create some strength in depth.”
The squad is not the only thing that has been revamped, with the pitch at Glevum Park having been transformed over the close season with the help of Flood Relief funding from Sport England.
Secretary Neil Spiller said: “Our pitch suffered badly during the harsh winter.
“We had some problems with our drainage system, meaning that water from a nearby stream ended up flooding the pitch.
“We managed to repair the drainage and pitch. Now it is something to be proud of.
“We’ve had really positive feedback from our pre-season opponents.”
The club have also developed a new hospitality room, serving match-day food and drink, and are also looking to re-develop their social club in the near future.
“It is a good time to be connected to the club,” said Spiller.
“We’re just hoping to have a little success on the field, to match the fantastic developments off it.”