Gloucester City First Team manager Tim Harris says that he is delighted to be back in pre-season training once again ahead of the 2017/18 National League South season.
Just under two months since the Tigers played their last National League North game at Stockport County on the last day of the season, Harris’ squad returned to kick-off their pre-season on Thursday evening.
With returning players and new signings to cast his watchful eye over, Harris said that he couldn’t wait for it all to start over again.
“I’m delighted to be back with the boys in pre-season training once again” he said. “The last week or so I’ve been kicking my heels not being able to wait for it to start back up again.
“At the end of the season you think “I could do with a break” but after a couple of weeks off you just can’t wait to get back into it. As a football manager you never stop, you’re always looking at the squad and looking at signing players and improving things so there’s never a dull moment.”
One of those new signings is goalkeeper Alex Harris, who joins the club to replace the departing Jasbir Singh.
After two full seasons at the club and over 100 appearances, Singh left in the Summer when the Tigers were transferred to the National League South. However, the gaffer knew that would likely be the case.
“We all knew that if we were to be transferred to the South then we would lose Jaz and he’s performed admirably for us over the last couple of years.
“With regards to Alex Harris, obviously he was in that very successful Cinderford side with Ethan Moore and Keiran Thomas, earned a move to Hereford as the number two but established himself as the number one. He is another young lad who fits our category of young, hungry players and at 25 years old he is a great age for a goalkeeper.
“He wants to play at the highest level he can, hence why he’s come to Gloucester City and we’re delighted to have him on board.”
Another former Newport County player was signed in the off-season by Harris in the form of Kieran Parselle, a left sided defender who the boss believes will only add more to his side.
“Kieran is a good lad and he will no doubt prove to be a good acquisition to our squad, he’ll give us balance” he said. “He’s got a good left peg and he can play centre half or left back.
“As well as that he’s got a great character and he will just add more enthusiasm to a young group that want to improve and play football, rather than be associated with a professional club sat in the stands watching football matches.
“Kieran epitomises what we’re about really and we’re delighted to have him after seeing him play against us for Salisbury in the FA Cup where he did really well.”
With a new division comes new challenges, 21 of them in this case, as Harris and his backroom team have extra homework to do on their new National League South counterparts.
“At this level of football now everyone does their homework and it’s very much an important part of our preparation in terms of scouting the opposition and knowing what to expect” said Harris.
“It will be tough this year for sure, there are some good sides in the South and one or two, like every league, spending a small fortune which we know we haven’t got and we don’t complain about it, we just get on with it.
“One thing I will say is that keeping the majority of the group we had last year has been massive for me in pre-season. The togetherness and team spirit of the lads is fantastic and that is more important than a lot of things.”
The Tigers kick-off their pre-season campaign away to Evesham United on Saturday 8 July, 14:00 kick-off.