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Basingstoke Town manager Jason Bristow excited about pre-season
The Camrose club returned to training earlier this week and play their first friendly fixture on Tuesday, travelling to Wessex League outfit Winchester City (kick-off 7.45pm).
It's been a fairly quiet close season for Bristow, with just 11 players currently signed to play for the club in 2014-15. However, the Town boss is confident that he will have a squad capable of competing in the Conference South before August 9, when the season starts in earnest.
“I know people have been worried because it's been a bit quiet on the signing front, but we are looking okay,” Bristow said. “We are speaking to a couple of players and are really close to making one signing. We are also hoping to have the goalkeeping situation sorted out in the coming days.
“We had seven triallists at training on Tuesday and they all looked sharp, so we are looking forward to seeing them in games.
“There are also another couple of guys who live locally but are trialling at professional clubs at the moment. If things don't work out for them there, they could come in next week.”
Bristow has arranged a eight-game pre-season campaign, mixing high-profile home games against Football League sides Yeovil Town and Newport County, with trips to local sides like Fleet Town and Winchester.
“I am really happy with the friendly fixtures we have got lined up,” the Town boss added. “We have a good mix, with a development side from the Championship and strong teams from League One and League Two.
“The away games may be against sides from lower leagues, but they will test us in a different way. The triallists will certainly get minutes on the pitch and they will be good games to test them in.
“We can't wait for the game on Tuesday. It's exciting because there will be a lot to look at in terms of triallists, so it's a bit different to last year.”
Basingstoke Town Friendly Fixtures 2014
July 8 (7.45pm) - Winchester City (a)
July 12 (3pm) - Yeovil Town (h)
July 15 (7.45pm) - Reading Under-21s (h)
July 19 (1pm) - Hungerford Town (a)
July 22 (7.30pm) - Newport County (h)
July 26 (3pm) - Swindon Supermarine (a)
July 29 (7.45pm) - Fleet Town (a)
August 2 (2pm) - Woking (h)