OSSETT Albion joint manager Lloyd Fellows is confident his side can avoid another relegation dogfight in Evo-Stik Division 1 North this season.
Fellows took charge of the Dimple Wells club alongside Paul Watson this summer following the departure of Eric Gilchrist.
The pair held similar roles with Albion’s reserve and academy sides for the last two years, enjoying some success that has been starved in the club’s first team in recent campaigns.
They’re hoping to repeat that success with the club’s first team this season.
The new management duo have already achieved success in a roundabout way, with Albion receiving a reprieve from relegation to the Northern Counties East League.
Fellows admits Albion were preparing for life below the Evo-Stik League but he’s confident his new-look squad can kick-on from their “bonus”.
“I think if you ask the club committee they’ll say that avoiding another relegation dogfight will be classed as a success for us this season,” admitted Fellows.
“But I think with the squad we have we’re capable of getting a mid-table finish.
“We know we’re not going to get promoted or get in the play-offs, but everything has been massively positive over the summer so far and we go into the season in confident mood.”
Albion have welcomed new players to the squad and have retained first team players from last season, as well as promoted academy and reserve players that Fellows and Watson know so well.
The club is still looking to add some more experience to its ranks but Fellows is pleased with the squad that has been built in recent weeks and months.
“We’re working to the same budget as last season,” he said.
“Eric Gilchrist has left to be a coach at Ossett Town and he’s enticed a few players over there which is understandable given that players have worked with him as long as they have.
“We’ve brought a lot of new players in too but we’ve also kept some players from last season and are looking to give the reserve and academy lads a chance too.”
He continued: “We’ve been playing some decent football in the friendly matches and have only lost once.
“We like to play on the ground rather than hoof it and we’ll be taking that into the season.”
Fellows says he “can’t foresee” any more new players coming in before the season opener at Witton Albion on Saturday, August 13, but admits there are still “one or two” places to play for amongst his squad.
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