FA Cup test comes first as the Bees begin their new campaign

Nick Pollard
Nick Pollard

The United Counties League Premier Division campaign will have to wait a few days for Harborough Town as cup competition is their initial focus.

The play in the extra preliminary round of the FA Cup this weekend with Sileby Rangers their opponents.

They then get into the nitty gritty of league action on Tuesday night when they head to county rivals Oadby Town.

It kicks off a season that boss Nick Pollard is looking forward to and feels his side can progress with the addition of some key new signings.

“I think we’re looking strong,” he said. “Pre-season has been okay and our preparations have gone well enough.

“We added a few players that I think will make us a better side.

“I’ve brought in Aaron Preston whose scored 30-plus goals a season for Blaby & Whetstone; an attacking midfielder in Jim Mee; Tony Bartlett who can play right-back or right wing-back and is very comfortable on the ball and I’ve also added Alexis Alcindor.

“He is a forward to has excellent hold-up skills, is strong and athletic and could offer us a new option.

“Barnes Gladman did very,very well for us last season but he spent the whole time playing up front on his own.

“Both Alexis and Aaron can hopefully bring something extra and give us a bit more height.

“We’ve also got a couple of other players coming along to training still who we will have a look at and possibly try to sign in time for Saturday.

“Add to that we’ve got Ryan Watkin back too.

“Ryan damaged his shoulder when we beat Brigg 4-0 last season and it ruled him out for the rest of the season.

“He has been working hard and it will be good to have him available again.”

Having an FA Cup tie as your first game of the season may be seen by some as unwanted way to open your campaign.

Not so according to Pollard.

He explained: “I’m not too concerned about it to be honest. It’s not a competition we are going to go out and win!

“It’s always nice to do well in the FA Cup, of course it is. But our priority first and foremost is the league.

“If there are any issues for us to iron out it gives us a chance to do that on Saturday before we face Oadby on Tuesday.

“I think Sileby are having a few issues at the moment.

“Their manager, Lee Duffy, has left and I understand a few of the players have gone as well.

“There might be a little bit of unrest there but all we can do is focus on our preparation and make sure we are right for the game.

“Whatever side they bring they will still be strong opposition and it will be a good, competitive game for us to start off with.”